• VIS-News

    From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Sep 30 07:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 167
    DATE 30-09-2014

    Summary:
    - Cardinal Parolin to the United Nations: unity of action for the common good
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

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    Cardinal Parolin to the United Nations: unity of action for the common good
    Vatican City, 30 September 2014 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin spoke yesterday at the 69th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which included a debate on the Transformative Development Agenda, among other themes.
    Cardinal Parolin, speaking in English, emphasised that the Holy See values the United Nations' efforts to ensure world peace, respect for human dignity, the protection of persons, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, and harmonious economic and social development. However, quoting Pope Francis, he remarked that there is the danger of widespread indifference in our time, affecting not only the field of politics but also economic and social sectors, "since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens". He added, "at times, such apathy is synonymous with irresponsibility. This is the case today, when a union of States, which was created with the fundamental goal of saving generations from the horror of war that brings untold sorrow to humanity, remains passive in the face of hostilities suffered by defenceless populations". In this context, the Cardinal repeated Pope Francis' appeal to the international community this August to "take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now under way" in the north of Iraq.
    He went on to speak in further detail about the situation in Iraq and Syria, where "we are seeing a totally new phenomenon: the existence of a terrorist organisation which threatens all states, vowing to dissolve them and replace them with a pseudo-religious world government". Unfortunately, he continued, even today "there are those who would presume to wield power by coercing consciences ... persecuting and murdering in the name of God. These actions bring injury to entire ethnic groups, populations and ancient cultures. It must be remembered that such violence is born of a disregard for God and falsifies religion itself, since religion aims at ... making it clear that each human being is the image of the Creator. In a world of global communications, this new phenomenon has found followers in numerous places, and has succeeded in attracting from around the world young people who are often disillusioned by a widespread indifference and a dearth of values in wealthier societies. This challenge, in all its tragic aspects, should compel the international community to promote a unified response, based on solid juridical criteria and a collective willingness to cooperate for the common good".
    "To this end, the Holy See considers it useful to focus attention on two major areas. The first is to address the cultural and political origins of contemporary challenges, acknowledging the need for innovative strategies to confront these international problems in which cultural factors play a fundamental role. The second area for consideration is a further study of the effectiveness of international law today, namely its successful implementation by those mechanisms used by the United Nations to prevent war, stop aggressors, protect populations and help victims".
    Cardinal Parolin continued, "The situation today requires a more incisive understanding of this law, giving particular attention to the 'responsibility to protect'. In fact, one of the characteristics of the recent terrorist phenomenon is that it disregards the existence of the state and, in fact, the entire international order. ... It also undermines and rejects all existing juridical systems, attempting to impose dominion over consciences and complete control over persons. The global nature of this phenomenon, which knows no borders, is precisely why the framework of international law offers the only viable way of dealing with this urgent challenge. This reality requires a renewed United Nations that undertakes to foster and preserve peace. ... The present situation, therefore, though indeed quite serious, is an occasion for the member states of the United Nations Organisation to honour the very spirit of the Charter of the United Nations by speaking out on the tragic conflicts which are tearing apart entire peoples and nations. It is disappointing that, up to now, the international community has been characterised by contradictory voices and even by silence with regard to the conflicts in Syria, the Middle East and Ukraine. It is paramount that there be a unity of action for the common good, avoiding the cross-fire of vetoes. ... In summary, the promotion of a culture of peace calls for renewed efforts in favour of dialogue, cultural appreciation and cooperation, while respecting the variety of sensibilities. ... Ultimately, there must be a genuine willingness to apply thoroughly the current mechanisms of law, while at the same time remaining open to the implications of this crucial moment. This will ensure a multilateral approach that will better serve human dignity, and protect and advance integral human development throughout the world".
    With reference to the approval of the Transformative Development Agenda, Cardinal Parolin confirmed that the Holy See welcomes the 'Sustainable Development Goals' proposed by the Working Group (Open Working Group for Sustainable Goals), which seek to address the structural causes of poverty by promoting dignified work for all. "Nevertheless, and notwithstanding the efforts of the United Nations and of many people of good will, the number of the poor and excluded is increasing not only in developing nations but also in developed ones. The 'responsibility to protect', as stated earlier, refers to extreme aggressions against human rights, cases of serious contempt for humanitarian law or grave natural catastrophes. In a similar way, there is a need to make legal provision for protecting people against other forms of aggression, which are less evident but just as serious and real. For example, a financial system governed only by speculation and the maximisation of profits, or one in which individual persons are regarded as disposable items in a culture of waste, could be tantamount, in certain circumstances, to an offence against human dignity. It follows, therefore, that the United Nations and its member states have an urgent and grave responsibility for the poor and excluded, mindful always that social and economic justice is a essential condition for peace", he concluded.

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 30 September 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, accompanied by Archbishop Jose Belisario da Silva, of Sao Luis do Maranhao, deputy president, and Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, auxiliary of Brasilia, secretary general.
    On Monday, 29 September, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops;
    - Msgr. Carlos Nannei of the prelature of Opus Dei, Argentina.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 30 September 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop John Stanley Kenneth Arnold, auxiliary of Westminster, England, as bishop of Salford (area 1,800, population 2,603,000, Catholics 267,938, priests 284, religious 280), England. He accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese presented by Bishop Terence John Brain, upon reaching the age limit.
    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Oct 1 07:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 168
    DATE 01-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Charisms and their action in the Christian community
    - Pope's greetings to the Little Apostles of Charity, invitation to pray the rosary, and the memory of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo
    - Pope Francis' prayer intentions for October
    - Audiences

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    Charisms and their action in the Christian community
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The charisms that build the Church and make her fruitful constituted the subject of Pope Francis' catechesis during today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, attended by over 35,000 people.
    "Ever since the beginning, the Lord has filled his Church with the gifts of His Spirit, making her forever alive ... and among these gifts, we find some that are particularly valuable for the edification and the progress of the Christian community: these are charisms", said the bishop of Rome, explaining that in everyday language we often refer to "charisma" in relation to a talent or natural ability. However, from a Christian point of view, a charism is far more than a personal quality, a predisposition or a gift: it is a grace, a gift from God the Father, by the action of the Holy Spirit ... so that with the same gratuitous love it may be placed at the service of the entire community, for the good of all".
    On the other hand, Pope Francis emphasised that alone it is impossible to understand whether or not one has received a charism or what form it takes, as it is within a community that we learn to recognise them as a sign of the Father's love for all of His sons and daughters. It is therefore good for us to ask ourselves, 'Has the Lord made a charism issue forth in me, in the grace of His Spirit, that my brothers in the Christian community have recognised and encouraged? And how do I act, in relation to this gift: do I experience it with generosity, placing it at the service of all, or do I neglect it and end up forgetting about it? Or does it perhaps become a pretext for pride, so that I expect the community to do things my way?".
    "The most beautiful experience, however, is discovering how many different charisms there are, and with how many gifts of the Spirit the Father fills His Church. This must not be regarded as a cause for confusion or unease: they are all gifts that God gives to the Christian community, so that it might grow harmoniously, in faith and in His love, like one body, the body of Christ. The same Spirit that grants this diversity of charisms also constructs the unity of the Church". He warned, "Beware, lest these gifts become a cause for envy, division or jealousy! As the apostle Paul remarks in his First Letter to the Corinthians, all charisms are important in the eyes of God, and at the same time, no-one is indispensable. This means that in the Christian community everyone needs the other, and every gift received is fully realised when it is shared with brothers, for the good of all. This is the Church! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, is expressed in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the 'sensus fidei', of that supernatural sense of faith, that is given by the Holy Spirit so that together we can enter into the heart of the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus in our life".
    Pope Francis went on to recall that today the Church commemorates St. Therese of Lisieux, who died at the age of 24 and "loved the Church so much that she wanted to be a missionary; she wanted to have every sort of charism. And in prayer she realised that her charism was love. She said, 'In the heart of the Church, I will be love', a beautiful phrase. And we all have this charism: the capacity to love. Today let us ask St. Therese of the Child Jesus for this capacity to love the Church, to love her dearly, and to accept all these charisms with this filial love for the Church, for our hierarchical holy mother Church".

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    Pope's greetings to the Little Apostles of Charity, invitation to pray the rosary, and the memory of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - Before the catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope received in the Paul VI Hall the participants in the pilgrimage organised by the Secular Institute of the Little Apostles of Charity, founded sixty years ago by Blessed Luigi Monza who worked "with skill and love" in the care of the disabled. Pope Francis mentioned the Institute in his catechesis as an example of the charism of care for the most vulnerable, recalling that the work of Luigi Monza was supported by Pope Paul VI when he was archbishop of Milan, Italy, and urged them to be held as an example "for families and for those who hold public responsibilities".
    After the catechesis and during his greetings in various languages, the Holy Father addressed German and Polish pilgrims, reminding them that October is the month of the Holy Rosary, and invited them to meditate on the path and work of Christ through the eyes of Mary, and to pray the rosary to accompany the work of the Synod of Bishops on the family.
    He also addressed the Portuguese-speaking faithful, including members of the "Associacao Crista de Empresarios e Gestores" (Christian Association of Businesspeople and Managers), encouraging them to persevere in their testimony in society and to allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit "to understand the true path of history".
    "Keep the flame of faith burning, ignited on the day of your baptism and sustained by the example of the holy martyrs, so that others may see the joy of your life in Christ", he said to pilgrims from Croatia.
    "I also greet Bishop Javier Echevarria, prelate of Opus Dei, as well as the faithful of the prelature present here to give thanks for the beatification of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo", he concluded, in Spanish. "May the intercession and the example of the new blessed help them to respond generously to God's call to holiness and to the apostolate in ordinary life, in the service of the Church and of the whole of humanity. Many thanks, and may God bless you".

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    Pope Francis' prayer intentions for October
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for October is: "That Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence".
    His intention for evangelisation is: "That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world".

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Levon Boghos Zekiyan, apostolic administrator "sede plena" of Istanbul of the Armenians, Turkey.
    On Tuesday, 30 September, the Holy Father received in audience Rev. Mariano Fassio, regional delegate of the prelature of Opus Dei.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
    # Origin: Sursum Corda! BBS=Huntsville AL=bbs.sursum-corda.com (1:396/45)
    # Origin: LiveWire BBS -=*=- telnet://livewirebbs.com (1:2320/100)
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Oct 7 08:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 172
    DATE 07-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Programme of the Pope's visit to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe
    - The Pope to visit France in 2015
    - Second General Congregation
    - Third General Congregation
    - Other Pontifical Acts

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    Programme of the Pope's visit to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe
    Vatican City, 7 October 2014 (VIS) - The programme of the Holy Father Francis' visit to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 25 November, was published today.
    The Pope will leave from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 7.55 a.m., arriving in Strasbourg at 10 a.m., where he will be received privately. At 10.35 he will address the European Parliament and at 12.05 p.m. will speak before the Council of Europe. At 1.50 p.m. he will depart for Rome, where he will arrive at Ciampino airport at 3.50 p.m.

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    The Pope to visit France in 2015
    Vatican City, 7 October 2014 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., today announced the Holy Father's intention to make an apostolic trip to France during 2015.

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    Second General Congregation
    Vatican City, 7 October 2014 (VIS) - The second general Congregation, held yesterday afternoon, opened the discussions of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The theme, according to the agenda set forth in the Instrumentum Laboris, was: "God's Plan for Marriage and the Family" (Part I, Chapter 1), and "The Knowledge and Acceptance of the Teachings on Marriage and the Family from Sacred Scripture and Church Documents" (Part I, Chapter 2).
    Based on the premise that the family is the basic unit of human society, the cradle of gratuitous love, and that taking about the family and marriage implies education in fidelity, it was reiterated that the family constitutes the future of humanity and must be protected.
    From many quarters, however, there has emerged the need to adapt the language of the Church, so that doctrine on the family, life and sexuality is understood correctly: it is necessary to enter into dialogue with the world, looking to the example offered by the Vatican Council, or rather with a critical but sincere openness. If the Church does not listen to the world, the world will not listen to the Church. And dialogue may be based on important themes, such as the equal dignity of men and women and the rejection of violence.
    The Gospel must not be explained, but rather shown - it was said in the Assembly - and above all, the lay faithful must be involved in the proclamation of the Good News, demonstrating the missionary charism. Evangelisation must not be a depersonalised theory, but must instead ensure that families themselves give concrete witness to the beauty and truth of the Gospel. The challenge, it was said, is that of passing from a defensive situation to an active, proactive one, or rather, reviving the capacity for proposing the heritage of faith with a new language, with hope, ardour and enthusiasm, offering convincing testimonies and creating a bridge between the language of the Church and that of society.
    In this sense, the use of a "biblical" rather than a "theological-speculative" catechesis was called for, since, in spite of appearances to the contrary, people are no longer satisfied by selfishness and instead seek ideals. Humanity desires happiness and the Christian knows that happiness is Christ, but no longer succeeds in finding the suitable language to communicate this to the world. The Church, instead, must be "magnetic"; it must work by attraction, with an attitude of friendship towards the world.
    With regard to couples in difficulty, it was emphasised that the Church needs to be close to them with understanding, forgiveness and mercy: mercy, it was said, is God's first prerogative, but it must be seen in the context of justice, as only in this way will the whole of God's plan be respected.
    Marriage is and remains an indissoluble sacrament; however, since the truth is Christ, a Person, and not a series of rules, it is important to maintain the principles while changing the concrete forms of their implementation. In short, as Benedict XVI said, novelty in continuity: the Synod does not call Doctrine into question, but reflects on the Pastoral, or rather spiritual discernment for the application of such Doctrine in response to the challenges faced by contemporary families. In this sense, mercy does not eliminate the commandments, but it provides the hermeneutic key to them.
    Furthermore, it was underlined that even imperfect situations must be considered with respect: for instance, de facto unions in which couples live together with fidelity and love present elements of sanctification and truth. It is therefore essential to look first and foremost at the positive elements, so that the Synod may infuse with courage and hope even imperfect forms of family, so that their value may be recognised, according to the principle of graduality. It is necessary to truly love families in difficulty.
    In the context of a society in which there prevails a sort of "ego-latry", leading to defamiliarisation, it is important to acknowledge the loss of a sense of the covenant between a man ( and a woman) and God. The proclamation of the beauty of the family, therefore, must not be simply aesthetic, the presentation of a mere ideal to imitate, but must instead present the importance of definitive commitment based on the covenant between married couples and God.
    Another essential point is the rejection of clericalism: at times the Church seems more concerned with power than with service, and for this reason she does not inspire the hearts of men and women. It is therefore necessary to return to the imitation of Christ, and to rediscover humility: the reform of the Church must begin with the reform of the clergy. If the faithful see pastors who imitate Christ they will therefore draw close to the Church once more, enabling her to proceed from the act of evangelising to being inherently evangelical.
    The theme of the essential value of sexuality within marriage was also considered: sexuality outside marriage is discussed so critically that married sexuality can appear almost as a concession to imperfection. The Synod indicated, more briefly, the need for a greater formation of priests in relation to policies in favour of the family and the re-launching of the transmission of faith within the family.
    During the hour of free discussion, from 6 to 7 p.m., two suggestions emerged: that the Synod send a message of encouragement and appreciation to families in Iraq, threatened by extermination perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists and forced to flee so as not to renounce their faith. The suggestion was subject to vote and approved by a majority.
    Another call was the need to reflect on the married clergy of the oriental Churches, as they too often live through "family crises", which may extend to the question of divorce.

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    Third General Congregation
    Vatican City, 7 October 2014 (VIS) - The general debate continued throughout today's third general Congregation. The theme according to the order of the Instrumentum Laboris was: "The Gospel of the Family and the Natural Law" (Part I, Chapter 3) and "The Family and Vocation of the Person in Christ" (Part I, Chapter 4).
    At the opening of the Congregation, it was announced that the Ordinary Consistory, convoked by the Holy Father for Monday 20 October, will be devoted to the situation in the Middle East, on the basis of the results of the meeting of various Papal Representatives and Superiors of the competent Dicasteries, held in the Vatican from 2 to 4 October. The theme of the Consistory will be presented by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. The meeting will also be attended by six Oriental Patriarchs and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal.
    The general debate then continued in relation to the issues stated above. It was agreed that greater preparation for marriage is necessary, so that it is not only valid but also fruitful. The suggestion was to look not only towards remedies for failure of the conjugal union, but also to focus on the conditions that render it valid and fruitful. It is necessary to transmit a vision of marriage that does not regard it as a destination, but rather as a path to a higher end, a road towards the growth of the person and of the couple, a source of strength and energy. The decision to marry is a true vocation and as such requires fidelity and coherence in order to become a true locus for the growth and the protection of the human being.
    For this reason, married couples must be accompanied throughout their path in life, by means of intense and vigorous family pastoral care. The path of preparation for the marriage sacrament, must therefore be long, personalised and also severe, without the fear of eventually leading to a reduction in the number of weddings celebrated in Church. Otherwise, there is the risk of filling the Tribunals with marriage cases.
    A further point that emerged during the discussion was the influence of the mass media, at times intrusive, in presenting ideologies contrary to the doctrine of the Church in relation to family and marriage. In this respect, it was said, Catholics must be protected but must also be better prepared: the Church must offer her teaching in a more incisive manner, presenting doctrine not merely as a list of prohibitions, but also by drawing closer to the faithful, as Jesus did. In this way, acting with empathy and tenderness, it will be possible to reduce the gap between doctrine and practice, between the teachings of the Church and the daily life of families. What is needed is not a choice between doctrine and mercy, but rather the beginning of an enlightened pastoral care to encourage above all those families in difficulty, who are often aware of a sense of not belonging to the Church.
    Today's debate then turned again to couples in difficulty and divorced and civilly remarried persons, for whom, it was said, that the Church should offer not judgement but truth, with a gaze of understanding, because people follow the truth, and will follow the Church if she speaks the truth. The "medicine" of mercy offers acceptance, care and support. Also because - it was shown - suffering families do not seek rapid pastoral solutions, and they do not wish to be a mere statistical figure, but rather feel the need to be inspired, to feel that they are welcomed and loved. More space must be allowed for a sacramental rather than a juridical form of logic.
    With regard to the approach to the Eucharist by the divorced and remarried, it was emphasised that it is not the sacrament of the perfect, but rather of those who are on the way.
    Like yesterday afternoon, the debate focused on the need to renew the language of the proclamation of the Gospel and the transmission of doctrine: the Church must be more open to dialogue, and must listen more frequently (and not only in exceptional cases) to the experiences of married couples, because their struggles and their failures cannot be ignored; on the other hand, they can be the basis of a real and true theology. Again, in relation to language, some perplexity was expressed at the suggestion - included in the Instrumentum Laboris - to deepen the concept, of biblical inspiration, of the "order of creation" as a possibility of rereading "natural law" more meaningfully: it was added that it is not enough to change the vocabulary if a bridge to effective dialogue with the faithful is not then created. In this sense, the much foretold and widespread need for change may be understood, it was said, as pastoral conversion, to make the proclamation of the Gospel more effective.
    In the Assembly, three specific dimensions of the family were presented: the vocation to life, the missionary aspect understood as witnessing Christ through the family unity, and acceptance of the other, as the family is the first school of otherness, the place in which it is possible to learn patience and slowness, in contrast to the frenzy of the contemporary world. A further dimension of the family unit is shown also in holiness, as the family educated in holiness is the icon of the Trinity, the domestic Church in the service of evangelisation, the future of humanity.
    Other points indicated during the third general Congregation related to the importance of catechesis for families, especially for children, and prayer between domestic walls, so that it may give rise to a true generation of faith, enabling its transmission from parents to children. Finally, the need for a more thorough formation for priests and catechists was underlined.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 7 October 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, presented by Archbishop Jan Zajac upon reaching the age limit.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Oct 9 09:00:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 174
    DATE 09-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Sixth General Congregation: the Church is the house of the Father, not a customs office, and must not be indifferent to weakness
    - Seventh General Congregation: The pastoral challenges concerning an openness to life
    - Cardinal Parolin to take possession of his title

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    Sixth General Congregation: the Church is the house of the Father, not a customs office, and must not be indifferent to weakness
    Vatican City, 9 October 2014 (VIS) - During the Sixth General Congregation, which took place yesterday afternoon, the Synod Fathers continued their debate on the theme set forth in the Instrumentum Laboris: "Difficult pastoral situations (Part II, Chapter 3). Situations in Families / Concerning Unions of Persons of the Same Sex".
    Firstly, it was underlined that the Church is not a customs house, but rather the house of the Father, and must therefore offer patient accompaniment to all people, including those who find themselves in difficult pastoral situations. The true Catholic Church encompasses healthy families and families in crisis, and therefore in her daily effort of sanctification must not show indifference in relation to weakness, as patience implies actively helping the weakest.
    With regard to processes for the declaration of nullity of marriage, in general the need to streamline the procedures was observed by many (along with the need to integrate more competent laypersons in the ecclesiastical Tribunals), but the Assembly also noted the danger of superficiality and the need always to safeguard respect for the truth and the rights of the parties. It was also remarked that the process is not contrary to pastoral charity, and judicial pastoral must avoid attempts to apportion blame, instead encouraging a calm discussion of cases. Again with regard to marriage nullity, the hypothesis of recourse to administrative channels, not in lieu of the judicial process but rather as a complement to it, was considered. It was suggested that it would be the responsibility of the bishop to decide which requests for nullity could be dealt with through administrative channels.
    It was strongly emphasised that an attitude of respect must be adopted in relation to divorced and remarried persons, as they often live in situations of unease or social injustice, suffer in silence and in many cases seek a gradual path to fuller participation in ecclesial life. Pastoral care must not therefore be repressive, but full of mercy.
    With regard to polygamy, on the one hand it was underlined that this is a diminishing tendency as it is favoured mostly within rural contexts and therefore undermined by advancing urbanisation; on the other, it was recalled that there are polygamists who have converted to Catholicism and who wish to receive the sacraments of Christian initiation, and it was asked if there are specific pastoral measures to engage with these situations with the appropriate discernment.
    Attention returned to the need for greater preparation for marriage, especially among the young, to whom the beauty of sacramental union must be presented, along with an adequate emotional education that is not merely a moralistic exhortation that risks generating a sort of religious and human illiteracy. The path to marriage must involve a true growth of the person.
    During the hour of free discussion - between 6 and 7 p.m. - the interventions presented experiences and practical models for the pastoral care of divorced and remarried persons, making extensive use of listening groups. It was remarked that it is important to carefully avoid moral judgement or speaking of a "permanent state of sin", seeking instead to enable understanding that not being admitted to the sacrament of the Eucharist does not entirely eliminate the possibility of grace in Christ and is due rather to the objective situation of remaining bound by a previous and indissoluble sacramental bond. In this respect, the importance of spiritual communion was emphasised repeatedly. It was also commented that there are evident limits to these proposals and that certainly there are no "easy" solutions to the problem.
    Also in relation to the pastoral care of homosexual persons, emphasis was placed on the importance of listening and the use of listening groups.
    Further interventions focused on the issue of Catholics who change Christian confession, or vice versa, with the difficult consequences that may arise from inter-confessional marriages and the validation of their validity in the light of the possibilities of divorce in the Orthodox Churches.
    Recalling the Ordinary Synod held in 1980 on the theme of "The Christian family", it was observed that great evolution has occurred since then in international legal culture and it is therefore necessary for the Church to be aware of this, and for cultural institutions such as the Catholic Universities to face this situation in order to retain a role in ongoing debate.

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    Seventh General Congregation: The pastoral challenges concerning an openness to life
    Vatican City, 9 October 2014 (VIS) - The seventh general Congregation, which took place this morning was divided into two phases: the first consisting of further general debate on the theme of the previous afternoon, "Difficult Pastoral Situations" (Part II, Chapter 3. Situations in Families / Concerning Unions of Persons of the Same Sex", and the second regarding the subsequent issue, "The Pastoral Challenges concerning an Openness to Life".
    In the first part, therefore, the Assembly continued its reflection on the matter of access to the sacrament of the Eucharist for divorced and remarried persons. Firstly, it re-emphasised the indissoluble nature of marriage, without compromise, based on the fact that the sacramental bond is an objective reality, the work of Christ in the Church. Such a value must be defended and cared for through adequate pre-matrimonial catechesis, so that engaged couples are fully aware of the sacramental character of the bond and its vocational nature. Pastoral accompaniment for couples following marriage would also be useful.
    At the same time, it was said that it is necessary to look at individual cases and real-life situations, even those involving great suffering, distinguishing for example between those who abandon their spouse and those who are abandoned. The problem exists - this was repeated several times in the Assembly - and the Church does not neglect it. Pastoral care must not be exclusive, of an "all or nothing" type but must instead be merciful, as the mystery of the Church is a mystery of consolation.
    It was in any case recalled that for divorced and remarried persons, the fact of not having access to the Eucharist does not mean that they are not members of the ecclesial community; on the contrary, it is to be taken into consideration that there exist various responsibilities that may be exercised. Furthermore, the need to simplify and speed up the procedures for the declaration of marriage nullity was underlined.
    With regard to cohabitation in certain regions, it was shown that this is often due to economic and social factors and not a form of refusal of the teachings of the Church. Often, moreover, these and other types of de facto unions are lived while conserving the wish for a Christian life, and therefore require suitable pastoral care. Similarly, while emphasising the impossibility of recognising same sex marriage, the need for a respectful and non-discriminatory approach with regard to homosexuals was in any case underlined.
    Further attention was paid to the matter of mixed marriages, demonstrating that in spite of the difficulties that may be encountered, it is useful to look also at the possibilities they offer as witness to harmony and interreligious dialogue. The Assembly then returned to theme of language, so that the Church may involve believers, non-believers and all persons of good will to identify models of family life that promote the full development of the human person and societal wellbeing. It was suggested that the family should be spoken of using a "grammar of simplicity" that reaches the heart of the faithful.
    In the second part of the Congregation, the theme of responsible parenthood was considered, emphasising that the gift of life (and the virtue of chastity) are basic values in Christian marriage, and underlining the seriousness of the crime of abortion. At the same time, mention was made of the numerous crises experienced by many families, for instance in certain Asian contexts, such as infanticide, violence towards women and human trafficking. The need to highlight the concept of justice among the fundamental virtues of the family was underlined.
    The debate turned to the issue of the responsibility of parents in educating their children in faith and in the teachings it offers: such responsibility is primordial, it was said, and it is important to pay it suitable attention. It was also noted that the pastoral care of children can create a point of contact with families who find themselves in difficult situations.
    With regard to children, the negative impact of contraception on society and resulting decline in the birth rate was underlined. It was remarked that Catholics should not remain silent in relation to this issue, but should instead bring a message of hope: children are important, they bring life and joy to their parents, and they reinforce faith and religious practices.
    Finally, attention turned to the essential role of the laity in the apostolate of the family and in its evangelisation, as well as lay movements able to accompany families in difficulty.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Parolin to take possession of his title
    Vatican City, 9 October 2014 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Saturday, 11 October, at 6.30 p.m., Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin will take possession of the title of Sts. Simon and Jude Thaddeus at Torre Angela (Via di Torrenova, 162).

    ___________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Oct 14 08:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 177
    DATE 14-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Declaration of the director of the Holy See Press Office on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops
    - Debate of the Synod Fathers following the post-discussion Report

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration of the director of the Holy See Press Office on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The General Secretariat of the Synod, in response to reactions and discussions following the publication of the Relatio post disceptationem, and the fact that often a value has been attributed to the document that does not correspond to its nature, reiterates that it is a working document, which summarises the interventions and debate of the first week, and is now being offered for discussion by the members of the Synod gathered in the Small Groups, in accordance with the Regulations of the Synod.
    The work of the Small Groups will be presented to the Assembly in the General Congregation next Thursday morning.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Debate of the Synod Fathers following the post-discussion Report
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - During the eleventh General Congregation the "Relatio post disceptationem" was read by the General Rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdo.
    Immediately after, there followed a period of free discussion among the Synod Fathers. In general, the "Relatio post disceptationem" was appreciated for its capacity to photograph well the interventions that have been offered during this last week, capturing the spirit of the Assembly and highlighting acceptance and welcome as the principle theme of the works. The document, it was said, reveals the Church's love for the family faithful to Christ, but also her capacity to be close to humanity in every moment of life, to understand that, behind the pastoral challenges, there are many people who suffer. The Synod, it was emphasised, should have the watchful gaze of the shepherd who devotes his life to his sheep, without a priori judgement.
    Furthermore, to allow this Report to bring together various points of view to provide a basis for the work of the Small Groups, certain additional reflections were suggested: for example, while the Church must welcome those in difficulty, it would be useful to speak more widely about those families who remain faithful to the teachings of the Gospel, thanking them and encouraging them for the witness they offer. From the Synod it emerged more clearly that indissoluble, happy marriage, faithful for ever, is beautiful, possible and present in society, therefore avoiding a near-exclusive focus on imperfect family situations.
    Other reflections involved giving more emphasis to the theme of women, their protection and their importance for the transmission of life and faith; to include consideration of the figure of grandparents within the family unit; more specific reference to the family as a "domestic Church" and the parish as a "family of families", and to the Holy Family, an essential model for reference. In this respect, it was also suggested that the family and missionary role in proclaiming the Gospel in the world be further promoted.
    It is necessary to clarify and explore more deeply the theme of "gradualness", that may give rise to confusion. With regard to access to the sacraments for divorced and remarried persons, for instance, it was said that it is difficult to accept exceptions unless in reality they become a common rule.
    It was also noted that the word "sin" is almost absent from the Relatio. The prophetic tone of Jesus' words was also mentioned, to avoid the risk of conformity to the mentality of today's world.
    In relation to homosexuals, moreover, the need for welcome was highlighted, but with the just produced, so that the impression of a positive evaluation of such a tendency on the part of the Church is not created. The same care was advised with regard to cohabitation.
    Other insights regarded the need to emphasise the importance of the sacrament of Baptism, essential for fully understanding the sacramental nature of marriage and also its character as a "ministry" in the announcement of the Gospel.
    With regard to procedures for the streamlining of cases of nullity, some questions were raised regarding the proposal to entrust greater competence to the diocesan bishop, which may prove to be too great a burden, while the need for deeper and more detailed reflection was indicated in relation to cases of polygamy - especially for those who convert and wish to partake in the sacraments - and the spread of pornography, especially on the internet, which poses a real risk to family unity. Finally, in relation to openness to life on the part of couples, it is necessary to face in more detail and more decisively not only abortion, but also that of surrogacy.

    ___________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Oct 15 08:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 178
    DATE 15-10-2014

    Summary:
    - General audience: the final destination of the People of God
    - Pope's letter for the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila
    - Other Pontifical Acts __________________________________________________________

    General audience: the final destination of the People of God
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The final destination of the People of God was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience. The Holy Father began by recalling St. Paul's words to the Thessalonians, when with anxiety they asked what would become of them - "we will be with the Lord forever" - remarking that it was one of the most beautiful phrases of the Sacred Scripture, and inviting those present in St. Peter's Square to repeat it three times.
    He went on to comment on how, in the Book of Revelation St. John, returning to the intuition of the Prophets, describes the final and definitive dimension in terms of "a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband". And this, then, is who the Church is: she is the people of God following the Lord Jesus and who prepares herself, day by day, for the encounter with Him, like a bride with her groom. And it is not simply a turn of phrase: it will be a true espousal. Yes, because Christ, who made Himself man like us, and making us one with Him, by His death and resurrection, truly took us as His spouse. And this is none other than the fulfilment of the plan of communion and love, woven by God throughout history, the history of the People of God and the history of each one of us".
    There is another element that further consoles us and opens our heart: John says that in the Church, bride of Christ, the "new Jerusalem" is visible. This means that the Church, aside from being a bride, is called to become a city, the quintessential symbol of co-existence and human relations. How beautiful it is to already be able to contemplate, according to another evocative image from Revelation, all the peoples and populations gathered together in this city, as if they were all under the same roof, in God's home. And in this glorious setting there will be no more isolation, abuse or distinctions of any type - social, ethnic or religious - but we will all be one in Christ".
    "In the presence of this unprecedented and wonderful scene, hope cannot but be strongly confirmed in our heart", he added, since "Christian hope is not simply a wish, a hope; for a Christian, hope is awaiting, fervently and with passion, the final and definitive fulfilment of a mystery, the mystery of God's love, in which we are reborn and which we already live. And it is the expectation of someone who is about to arrive: the Lord Christ who is ever closer to us, day after day, and who comes to finally introduce us to the fullness of His communion and His peace". Pope Francis underlined that the Church therefore has "the task of keeping hope alight and clearly visible, so that it may continue to shine as a sure sign of salvation and may illuminate for all humanity the path that leads to the encounter with the mysterious face of God".
    Pope's letter for the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a message to Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo of Avila on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila, whose feast day is celebrated today. In his letter, Pope Francis mentions the joy the saint often spoke of "in encountering the suffering of work and pain", and how she affirmed that "the Gospel is not a bag of lead that trails heavily behind us, but rather a source of joy that leads the heart to God and urges us to serve our brethren": St. Teresa emphasised the importance of cheerful perseverance and prayer. For her, contemplative prayer was "a close sharing between friends; ... taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us".
    The Pope remarks that this advice is "perennially valid": "In a culture of the temporary", he says, "to live faithfully 'forever and ever and ever'; in a world without hope, to show the fruitfulness of an enamoured heart; and in a society with many idols, to give witness that 'only God is enough'". A path that, the Holy Father reiterated, we cannot walk alone; we must do so together and, as the Saint said, with Christ. "Teresa of Jesus recommended three things: to love each other, to free each other, to free oneself of everything, and to aspire to true humility".
    "It is this Teresian realism", writes the Pope, "that demands works instead of emotions, love in the place of dreams, and the realism of humble love instead of eager asceticism". He concludes, "Let us hope that everyone may be infused by this holy impulse to travel the roads of our own time, with the Gospel in our hand and the Spirit in our heart!".
    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Antonio Fernando Brochini, C.S.S., of Jaboticabal, Brazil as bishop of Itumbiara (area 21,152, population 313,000, Catholics 244,000, priests28, permanent deacons 2, religious 26), Brazil.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Vittorio Francesco Viola, O.F.M., as bishop of Tortona (area 2,350, population 281,310, Catholics 274,640, priests 175, permanent deacons 20, religious 409), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Biella, Italy in 1965, gave his solemn vows in 1991, and was ordained a priest in 1993. He has served in a number of roles, including definitor or the Seraphic Province of Friars Minor in Umbria, custodian of the convent and the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli alla Porziuncola, guardian of the convent at St. Clare's Basilica in Assisi, head of the Liturgical Office for the region of Umbria, head of the diocesan office for Education, Schools and University in Assisi, and head of the diocesan Caritas. He was recently appointed as custodian of the protoconvent and shrine of Porziuncola. He also teaches at the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome, in the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, in the Theological Institute of Assisi, and the Institute of Religious Sciences, Assisi. He succeeds Bishop Martino Canessa, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.


    __________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Oct 16 09:27:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 179
    DATE 16-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Twelfth General Congregation: evaluation and suggestions based on the post-discussion report
    - Reports of the Small Groups
    - Sistine Chapel: New breath, new light

    ___________________________________________________________

    Twelfth General Congregation: evaluation and suggestions based on the post-discussion report
    Vatican City, 16 October 2014 (VIS) - The twelfth General Congregation included the presentation, in the Assembly, of the Reports of the ten Small Groups, divided according to language: two in French, three in English, three in Italian and two in Spanish. In general, the Small Groups presented both an evaluation of the "Relatio post disceptationem" (RPD), a provisional document published at the midway point during the Synod, as well as proposals to incorporate in the "Relatio Synodi" (RS), the definitive and conclusive document of the Assembly.
    Firstly, some perplexity was voiced regarding to the publication, although legitimate, of the RPD since, it was said, this is a working document that does not express a univocal opinion shared by all the Synod Fathers. Therefore, after expressing their appreciation of the work involved in drawing up the text and regarding its structure, the Small Groups presented their suggestions.
    It was first underlined that in the RPD there is a focus on the concerns of families in crisis, without broader reference to the positive message of the Gospel of the family or to the fact that marriage as a sacrament, an indissoluble union between man and woman, retains a very current value in which many couples believe. Therefore, the hope was expressed that the RS may contain a strong message of encouragement and support for the Church and for faithful married couples.
    Furthermore, it was remarked that it is essential to underline more clearly the doctrine on marriage, emphasising that it is a gift from God. It was further proposed that elements not contained in the RPD be integrated in the RS, such as the theme of adoption, expressing the hope that bureaucratic procedures be streamlined, both at national and international levels, and also the themes of biotechnology and the spread of culture via the internet, which may condition family life, as well as a note regarding the importance of policies in favour of the family.
    In addition, it was said that greater attention should be paid to the presence of the elderly within families, and to families who live in conditions of extreme poverty. The grave problems of prostitution, female genital mutilation and the exploitation of minors for sexual purposes and for labour were denounced. It is important, it was said, to underline the essential role of families in evangelisation and in the transmission of faith, highlighting their missionary vocation. Overall, the aim is to offer a balanced and global idea of the "family" in a Christian sense.
    With regard to difficult family situations, the Small Groups highlighted that the Church should be a welcoming home for all, in order that no-one feel refused. However, greater clarity was advocated, to avoid confusion, hesitation and euphemisms in language, regarding for example the law of gradualness, so that it does not become gradualness of the law. Various Groups, furthermore, expressed perplexity regarding the analogy made with paragraph 8 of "Lumen Gentium", inasmuch as this could give the impression of a willingness on the part of the Church to legitimise irregular family situations, even though these may represent a phase in the itinerary towards the sacrament of marriage. Other Groups expressed their hope for a more in-depth focus on the concept of "spiritual communion", so that it may be evaluated and eventually promoted and disseminated.
    With regard to possibility of divorced and remarried persons partaking in the sacrament of the Eucharist, two main perspectives emerged: on the one hand, it was suggested that the doctrine not be modified and to remain as it is at present; on the other, to open up the possibility of communication, with an approach based on compassion and mercy, but only under certain conditions. In other cases, furthermore, it was suggested that the matter be studied by a specific interdisciplinary Commission. Greater care was suggested in relation to divorced persons who have not remarried, and who are often heroic witnesses of conjugal fidelity. At the same time, an acceleration of the procedures for acknowledging matrimonial nullity and the confirmation of validity was advocated; furthermore, it was emphasised that children are not a burden but rather a gift from God, the fruit of love between spouses.
    A more "Christ-centric" orientation was required, as well as clearer emphasis of the link between the sacraments of marriage and baptism. The vision of the world must be one which passes through the lens of the Gospel, to encourage men and women to the conversion of the heart.
    Furthermore, it was emphasised that, despite the impossibility of equating marriage between a man and a woman with homosexual unions, persons of this orientation must receive pastoral accompaniment and their dignity must be protected, without however implying that this may indicate a form of approval, on the part of the Church, of their orientation and way of life. With regard to the issue of polygamy, especially polygamists who convert to Catholicism and wish to partake in the sacraments, thorough study was suggested.
    The Small Groups advocated broader reflection on the figure of Mary and the Holy Family, to be better promoted as a model for reference for all family units. Finally, it was asked that it be highlighted that the RS will in any case be a preparatory document for the Ordinary Synod scheduled for October 2015.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Reports of the Small Groups
    Vatican City, 16 October 2014 (VIS) - The texts of the reports by the twelve Small Groups (Gallicus A and B, French; Anglicus A, B and C, English; Italicus A, B and C, Italian; Hibericus A and B, Spanish) of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, presented this morning during the twelfth General Congregation, may be consulted on the Holy See Press Office Bulletin web page, at:

    http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2014/10/16/07 63/03042.html

    ___________________________________________________________

    Sistine Chapel: New breath, new light
    Vatican City, 16 October 2014 (VIS) - A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office during which the director of the Vatican Museums, Professor Antonio Paolucci, presented the international congress "The Sistine Chapel, twenty years on: new breath, new light", which will take place from 30 to 31 October. The congress coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the inauguration of the Sistine Chapel by St. John Paul II following the restoration of Michelangelo's frescoes by the experts Fabrizio Mancinelli and Gianluigi Colalucci, and with the 450th anniversary of the death of celebrated artist.
    During the congress, information will be given on the new air conditioning and lighting systems in the Sistine Chapel, put into effect during the last three years. Professor Paolucci explained that the great influx of visitors - more than six million each year with peaks of more than twenty thousand each day - necessitated "a radical intervention guaranteeing the circulation of air, the reduction of dust and other contaminants, temperature and humidity control and an acceptable level of carbon dioxide, factors that, in the long term, may pose a threat to the conservation of mural paintings, in this case the 2500 square metres that constitute the most important artistic anthology of the Italian Renaissance".
    A new lighting system was also necessary, to provide gentle but total illumination, non-invasive and respecting the complex iconographic, stylistic and historic reality of the Sistine Chapel. This involved no special "spotlight" on Michelangelo, but instead providing the possibility of a calm, objective and at the same time delicate observation of every detail of "this great catechism that three popes - Sixtus IV, Julius II and Paul III - wished to display along the walls and on the ceiling of the 'chapel of the world'".

    ___________________________________________________________

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 17 08:24:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 180
    DATE 17-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Francis on World Food Day: to defeat hunger it is necessary to change the paradigm of aid and development policies
    - Pope's message to the Italian Catholic University Federation
    - Benedict XVI to attend the beatification of Paul VI
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis on World Food Day: to defeat hunger it is necessary to change the paradigm of aid and development policies
    Vatican City, 17 October 2014 (VIS) - World Food Day, held on 16 October, was instituted in 1979 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in order to raise public awareness and strengthen solidarity in the fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father sent a message to the director general of the FAO, Jose Graziano da Silva, extensive extracts of which are published below.
    "Again this year, World Food Day echoes the cries of our many brothers and sisters who, in many parts of the world, do not have enough to eat each day. ... Despite the progress that is being achieved in many countries, recent data continue to indicate a troubling situation, contributed to by the general reduction of public development aid".
    "The theme proposed by the FAO for this year's World Food Day - 'Family farming: feeding the world, caring for the earth' - highlights the need to begin with people, as individuals or in groups, to propose new forms and methods of management for different aspects of nutrition. Specifically, it is necessary to give greater acknowledgement of the role of the rural family, and to develop its full potential. ... Indeed, the family promotes dialogue between generations and provides the foundation for a true social integration, aside from representing that hoped-for synergy between agricultural work and sustainability; who, more than the rural family, is concerned with preserving nature for generations to come? And who, more than the rural family, has at heart cohesion between people and social groups?"
    "Defending rural communities from the serious threats posed by human action or natural disasters must not merely be a strategy but rather a form of permanent action aimed at promoting their participation in decision-making, at making appropriate technologies available, and extending their use, always with respect for the natural environment. Acting in this way can alter the methods of international cooperation and aid for the hungry and malnourished. Never more than in this moment has the world needed unity between people and among nations to overcome the divisions that exist and the conflicts in progress, and above all to seek concrete ways out of a crisis that is global, but the burden of which falls mostly on the poor. ... Think of the men and women, of every age and condition, who are victims of bloody conflicts and their consequent destruction and misery, the lack of housing, medical care and education, who lose every hope of a dignified life. We have an obligation towards these people, of solidarity and sharing".
    "To defeat hunger, it is not enough to meet the needs of those who are unfortunate or to help through aid and donations those who live in situations of emergency. It is necessary, instead, to change the paradigm of aid and development policies ... It is also necessary to change how we understand work, economic aims and activity, food production and the protection of the environment. This is perhaps the only possibility for constructing an authentic future of peace, threatened nowadays by insecurity in relation to food".
    "The Catholic Church, on her part, while pursuing her charitable activities in the different continents, remains available to offer, enlighten and accompany both the elaboration of policies and their concrete implementation, aware that faith becomes visible by putting into practice God's plan for the human family and for the world through that profound and real fraternity that is not exclusive to Christians, but that includes all peoples".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's message to the Italian Catholic University Federation
    Vatican City, 17 October 2014 (VIS) - Pope Francis has sent a message to the Italian Catholic University Federation (FUCI), which is preparing to hold an extraordinary national conference in Arezzo, Italy, devoted to Pope Paul VI, who was the Central Assistant of the institution from 1925 and 1933, and who will be proclaimed blessed next Sunday.
    The Holy Father assures the participants of his spiritual closeness and accompanies them in their work with three words, the first of which is "studium". "The essence of university life is found in study, in the effort and patience of thought that reveals the importance to humanity of truth, goodness and beauty. ... Do not be satisfied with partial truths or reassuring illusions, but welcome an increasingly full comprehension of reality in your study. Doing this requires the humility to listen, and a far-sighted vision".
    The second word is "research", which along with dialogue is at the basis of the FUCI's study method. The Pope continues, "The FUCI must always experience the humility of research, that attitude of silently accepting the unknown, the other, and of showing openness and willingness to walk alongside all those who are inspired by a restless yearning for the Truth, believers and non-believers, outsiders and marginalised. Research challenges itself continually, becoming an encounter with mystery and opening up to faith: research makes the encounter between faith, reason and science possible, enabling a harmonious dialogue between them. ... By this method of research it is possible to attain an ambitious objective: to repair the fracture between the Gospel and contemporary life through the style of cultural mediation, an itinerant mediation that, without denying cultural differences - instead, recognising their value - becomes the focus of positive planning".
    The third and final word is "frontier". "The university is a frontier that awaits you, a periphery where the existential poverty of humanity can be received and cured. Poverty in relations, in human growth, tend to fill minds without leading to the creation of a shared plan for society, a common aim, sincere fraternity. Always be sure to encounter the other, to be receptive to the 'scent' of the people of today, to be imbued with their joys and hopes, their sadness and their anguish. Do not set up barriers that, intended to defend the frontier, preclude an encounter with the Lord. ... In today's culture, in particular, we need to stand alongside everyone. You will be able to overcome the clash between peoples only if you succeed in nurturing a culture of encounter and fraternity".

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    Benedict XVI to attend the beatification of Paul VI
    Vatican City, 17 October 2014 (VIS) - Benedict XVI will attend the beatification of Paul VI in St. Peter's Square this Sunday, according to the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. The Pope emeritus was made a cardinal by the new blessed, and the ceremony will be attended by another two cardinals created by the pontiff, author of "Populorum Progressio": Paulo Evaristo Arns, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and William Wakefield Baum, major penitentiary emeritus.
    A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office to present the figure of the new blessed and his relevance to the contemporary Church. The speakers were Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops; Fr. Pierantonio Lanzoni, episcopal delegate for the promotion of the memory of Paul VI in the diocese of Brescia, where the pontiff was born in the town of Concesio in 1897; Fr. Antonio Marrazzo, C.SS.R., postulator of the cause for beatification and Fr. Davide Milani, spokesperson for the diocese of Milan, where Cardinal Montini was archbishop between 1954 and 1963. This afternoon, Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture and Fr. Angelo Maffeis, president of the Paul VI Institute in Brescia, will speak on Vatican Radio, accompanied by Fausto Montini, Paul VI's nephew.
    Thousands of pilgrims will attend the beatification and the events linked to it, the first of which will take place tomorrow, Saturday 18, in the Roman Basilica of the Twelve Apostles, when Cardinal Angelo Scola, current archbishop of Milan, will preside at Vespers. At 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, in St. Peter's Square, the mass of beatification will be celebrated by Pope Francis and at 9.30 a.m. on Monday 20, in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Cardinal Angelo Scola will celebrate a mass of thanksgiving for the faithful of the dioceses of Milan and Brescia.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 17 October 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for External Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow;
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans;
    - Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect emeritus of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sat Oct 18 06:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 181
    DATE 18-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation

    ___________________________________________________________

    Message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation
    Vatican City, 18 October 2014 (VIS) - This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the Message of the Third Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the "Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation" (5-19 October). The speakers were Cardinals Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, delegate president; Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Commission for the Message and Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India. The full text of the message is published below:
    "We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis in the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, greet all families of the different continents and in particular all who follow Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We admire and are grateful for the daily witness which you offer us and the world with your fidelity, faith, hope, and love.
    Each of us, pastors of the Church, grew up in a family, and we come from a great variety of backgrounds and experiences. As priests and bishops we have lived alongside families who have spoken to us and shown us the saga of their joys and their difficulties.
    The preparation for this synod assembly, beginning with the questionnaire sent to the Churches around the world, has given us the opportunity to listen to the experience of many families. Our dialogue during the Synod has been mutually enriching, helping us to look at the complex situations which face families today.
    We offer you the words of Christ: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me". On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. In your homes there are light and shadow. Challenges often present themselves and at times even great trials. The darkness can grow deep to the point of becoming a dense shadow when evil and sin work into the heart of the family.
    We recognise the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love. Enfeebled faith and indifference to true values, individualism, impoverishment of relationships, and stress that excludes reflection leave their mark on family life. There are often crises in marriage, often confronted in haste and without the courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to forgive one another. Failures give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic, where the Christian choice is not obvious.
    We think also of the burden imposed by life in the suffering that can arise with a child with special needs, with grave illness, in deterioration of old age, or in the death of a loved one. We admire the fidelity of so many families who endure these trials with courage, faith, and love. They see them not as a burden inflicted on them, but as something in which they themselves give, seeing the suffering Christ in the weakness of the flesh.
    We recall the difficulties caused by economic systems, by the "the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose" which weakens the dignity of people. We remember unemployed parents who are powerless to provide basic needs for their families, and youth who see before them days of empty expectation, who are prey to drugs and crime.
    We think of so many poor families, of those who cling to boats in order to reach a shore of survival, of refugees wandering without hope in the desert, of those persecuted because of their faith and the human and spiritual values which they hold. These are stricken by the brutality of war and oppression. We remember the women who suffer violence and exploitation, victims of human trafficking, children abused by those who ought to have protected them and fostered their development, and the members of so many families who have been degraded and burdened with difficulties. "The culture of prosperity deadens us.... all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us". We call on governments and international organizations to promote the rights of the family for the common good.
    Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone. We warmly thank our pastors, lay faithful, and communities who accompany couples and families and care for their wounds.
    ***
    There is also the evening light behind the windowpanes in the houses of the cities, in modest residences of suburbs and villages, and even in mere shacks, which shines out brightly, warming bodies and souls. This lightuthe light of a wedding storyushines from the encounter between spouses: it is a gift, a grace expressed, as the Book of Genesis says, when the two are "face to face" as equal and mutual helpers. The love of man and woman teaches us that each needs the other in order to be truly self. Each remains different from the other that opens self and is revealed in the reciprocal gift. It is this that the bride of the Song of Songs sings in her canticle: "My beloved is mine and I am his... I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine".
    This authentic encounter begins with courtship, a time of waiting and preparation. It is realized in the sacrament where God sets his seal, his presence, and grace. This path also includes sexual relationship, tenderness, intimacy, and beauty capable of lasting longer than the vigour and freshness of youth. Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one's life for the beloved. In this light conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties. It is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common.
    This love spreads through fertility and generativity, which involves not only the procreation of children but also the gift of divine life in baptism, their catechesis, and their education. It includes the capacity to offer life, affection, and valuesuan experience possible even for those who have not been able to bear children. Families who live this light-filled adventure become a sign for all, especially for young people.
    This journey is sometimes a mountainous trek with hardships and falls. God is always there to accompany us. The family experiences his presence in affection and dialogue between husband and wife, parents and children, sisters and brothers. They embrace him in family prayer and listening to the Word of Godua small, daily oasis of the spirit. They discover him every day as they educate their children in the faith and in the beauty of a life lived according to the Gospel, a life of holiness. Grandparents also share in this task with great affection and dedication. The family is thus an authentic domestic Church that expands to become the family of families which is the ecclesial community. Christian spouses are called to become teachers of faith and of love for young couples as well.
    Another expression of fraternal communion is charity, giving, nearness to those who are last, marginalized, poor, lonely, sick, strangers, and families in crisis, aware of the Lord's word, "It is more blessed to give than to receive". It is a gift of goods, of fellowship, of love and mercy, and also a witness to the truth, to light, and to the meaning of life.
    The high point which sums up all the threads of communion with God and neighbor is the Sunday Eucharist when the family and the whole Church sits at table with the Lord. He gives himself to all of us, pilgrims through history towards the goal of the final encounter when "Christ is all and in all". In the first stage of our Synod itinerary, therefore, we have reflected on how to accompany those who have been divorced and remarried and on their participation in the sacraments.
    We Synod Fathers ask you walk with us towards the next Synod. The presence of the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their modest home hovers over you. United to the Family of Nazareth, we raise to the Father of all our petition for the families of the world:
    Father, grant to all families the presence of strong and wise spouses who may be the source of a free and united family.
    Father, grant that parents may have a home in which to live in peace with their families.
    Father, grant that children may be a sign of trust and hope and that young people may have the courage to forge life-long, faithful commitments.
    Father, grant to all that they may be able to earn bread with their hands, that they may enjoy serenity of spirit and that they may keep aflame the torch of faith even in periods of darkness.
    Father, grant that we may all see flourish a Church that is ever more faithful and credible, a just and humane city, a world that loves truth, justice and mercy".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Oct 21 08:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 183
    DATE 21-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Programme of Pope Francis' apostolic trip to Turkey
    - The responsibility to protect and the rule of law

    ___________________________________________________________

    Programme of Pope Francis' apostolic trip to Turkey
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today confirmed that His Holiness Francis, accepting the invitation issued by the civil authorities, His Holiness Bartolomaios I and the bishops, will make an apostolic trip to Turkey from 28 to 30 November 2014, during which he will visit Ankara and Istanbul.
    The Pope will leave on the morning of Friday 28 from Rome's Fiumicino Airport, and will arrive at Esenboga Airport, Ankara at approximately 1 pm. He will first visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, after which he will transfer to the presidential palace where he will be received by the president of the Republic and the authorities, to be followed by a meeting with the Prime Minister. He will subsequently visit the president of Religious Affairs in the Diyanet.
    On the following day, Saturday 29, the Holy Father will travel by air to Istanbul where he will visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque, and the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, where he will celebrate Mass. Later, in the patriarchal Church of St. George, there will be an ecumenical prayer and a private meeting with His Holiness Bartholomaios I.
    On Sunday 30 Pope Francis will celebrate Mass privately with the apostolic delegation. In the patriarchal Church of St. George a divine liturgy will take place, followed by an ecumenical blessing and the signing of the Joint Declaration. In the afternoon the Holy Father will return to Istanbul Airport to return to Rome, where he is expected to arrive, at Fiumicino Airport, at 6.40 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The responsibility to protect and the rule of law
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - A state based on the principles of rule of law and justice was the central theme of the address given on 13 October at the United Nations in New York by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations, during the 69th session of the General Assembly.
    "While commitment to the rule of law would appear to be universal, there nonetheless remains persistent disagreement about the definition of 'the rule of law'. The Holy See Delegation has endorsed a definition of the rule of law, which is both rationally and morally grounded upon the substantial principles of justice, including the inalienable dignity and value of every human person prior to any law or social consensus; and, as a consequence of the recognition of this dignity, those elements of fundamental justice such as respect for the principle of legality (Nullum crimen sine lege), the presumption of innocence and the right to due process. Likewise, regarding relations among States, the rule of law means the paramount respect of human rights, equality of the rights of nations; and respect for international customary law, treaties (Pacta sunt servanda) and other sources of international law. This definition, with its reference point in the natural law, sidesteps self-referential definitional frameworks and anchors the orientation of the rule of law within the ultimate and essential goal of all law, namely to promote and guarantee the dignity of the human person and the common good.
    "For this reason, in future debates of the rule of law my delegation would welcome increased attention to the human person and the society in which he or she lives, because, in addition to the police force, courts, judges, prosecutors and the rest of the legal infrastructure, the rule of law is unattainable without social trust, solidarity, civic responsibility, good governance and moral education. The family, religious communities and civil society play indispensable roles in creating a society that can promote public integrity and sustain the rule of law. As Pope Francis affirmed: 'When a society, whether local, national or global, is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquillity'. This is why the promotion of the rule of law needs to be indispensably supported and verified by prioritising the allocation of public resources to human integral development.
    Archbishop Auza went on to observe that the UN Charter and the mandates contained within its purposes and principles are at the centre of the international framework governing rule of law. "In the exercise of these powers, it is appropriate to emphasise the commitment of States to fulfil their obligations to promote universal respect for, and the promotion and protection of, all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. If the international rule of law is to reflect justice, frameworks to international protection of persons must be fairly and impartially applied by States to guarantee equal recourse to the protections available under the UN Charter. I refer here in particular to religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East and other regions awaiting urgent measures to effect this protection, including through further legal elaboration of the responsibility to protect".
    He continued, "the 'responsibility to protect' is a recognition of the equality of all before the law, based on the innate dignity of every man and woman. The Holy See wishes to reaffirm that every State has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights and from the consequences of humanitarian crises. If States are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the UN Charter and in other international instruments. The action of the international institutions, provided that it respects the principles undergirding the international order, cannot be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty".
    Finally, the nuncio reiterated that the Holy See hopes that the "alarming, escalating phenomenon of international terrorism, new in some of its expressions and utterly ruthless in its barbarity, be an occasion for a deeper and more urgent study on how to re-enforce the international juridical framework of a multilateral application of our common responsibility to protect people from all forms of unjust aggression".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Oct 23 08:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXIV - # 184
    DATE 23-10-2014

    Summary:
    - Audience with Prime Minister of Grenada: Catholic Churh's Crontribution in Responding to Challenges Facing the Country
    - Pope to Association of Penal Law: Corruption is Greater Evil than Sin
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audience with Prime Minister of Grenada: Catholic Churh's Crontribution in Responding to Challenges Facing the Country
    Vatican City, 23 October 2014 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received the Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
    In the course of the cordial conversations, the parties focused on the good relations existing between the Holy See and Grenada, as well as the important contribution made by the Catholic Church in the educational, social, and charitable spheres, to meet the challenges of the country, especially with regard to youth. In this regard, the need for cooperation between all of the social services, in order to promote the common good and the development of the country, was affirmed.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope to Association of Penal Law: Corruption is Greater Evil than Sin
    Vatican City, 23 October 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received delegates from the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP), addressing them with a speech focusing on the issues in their subject area that have recourse to the Church in her mission of evangelization and the promotion of the human person.
    The Pope began by recalling the need for legal and political methods that are not characterized by the mythological ?scapegoat? logic, that is, of an individual unjustly accused of the misfortunes that befall a community and then chosen to be sacrificed. It is also necessary to refute the belief that legal sanctions carry benefit, which requires the implementation of inclusive economic and social policies. He reiterated the primacy of the life and dignity of the human person, reaffirming the absolute condemnation of the death penalty, the use of which isrejected by Christians. In this context he also talked about the so-called extrajudicial executions, that is, the deliberated killing of individuals by some states or their agents that are presented as the unintended consequence of the reasonable, necessary, and proportionate use of force to implement the law. He emphasized that the death penalty is used in totalitarian regimes as ?an instrument of suppression of political dissent or of persecution of religious or cultural minorities?.
    He then spoke of the conditions of prisoners, including prisoners who have not been convicted and those convicted without a trial, stating that pretrial detention, when used improperly, is another modern form of unlawful punishment that is hidden behind legality. He also referred to the deplorable prison condition in much of the world, sometimes due to lack of infrastructure while other instances are the result of ?the arbitrary exercise of ruthless power over detainees?.Pope Francis also spoke about torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment, stating that, in the world today, torture is used not only as a means to achieve a particular purpose, such as a confession or an accusation?practices that are characteristic of a doctrine of national security?but also adds to the evil of detention. Criminal code itself bears responsibility for having allowed, in certain cases, the legitimacy of torture under certain conditions, opening the way for further abuse.
    The Pope did not forget the application of criminal sanctions against children and the elderly, condemning its use in both cases. He also recalled some forms of crime that seriously damage the dignity of the human person as well as the common good, including human trafficking, slavery?recognized as a crime against humanity as well as a war crime in both international law and under many nations? laws?the abject poverty in which more than a billion people live, andcorruption. ?The scandalous accumulation of global wealth is possible because of the connivance of those with strong powers who are responsible for public affairs. Corruption is a process of death ? more evil than sin. An evil that, instead of being forgiven, must be cured.?
    ?Caution in the application of penal codes,? he concluded, ?must be the overarching principle of legal systems ? and respect for human dignity must not only act to limit the arbitrariness and excesses of government agents but as the guiding criterion for prosecuting and punishing behaviors that represent the most serious attacks on the dignity and integrity of the human person.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 23 October 2014 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
    - Archbishop Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio to France,
    - Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples,
    - Bishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 23 October 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father appointed Abbot Donato Ogliari, O.S.B., as abbot of the territorial abbey of Montecassino, Italy. He formerly served as abbot of the Santa Maria della Scala Monastery in Noci, Italy. The Holy Father has, at the same time, applied the Motu Proprio ?Ecclesia Catholica? to the Abbey of Montecassino with a subsequent reduction of its territory, providing that: the territory on which stand the Abbey Church and Monastery belongs to the new territorial configuration of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction ?Territorial Abbey of Montecassino?, effective immediately. The 53 parishes with their faithful, secular and religious clergy, religious communities, and semiarians pass to the pastoral care of the Diocese of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo, which will now be named Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 24 08:00:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 186
    DATE 24-10-2014

    Summary:
    - To the Oriental Lumen Foundation: there is no true ecumenical dialogue without the will for inner renewal
    - Holy Father's calendar for November 2014
    - World Meeting of Popular Movements: the excluded are the motor of social change
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the Oriental Lumen Foundation: there is no true ecumenical dialogue without the will for inner renewal
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - "Every Christian pilgrimage is not only a geographical journey, but also and above all an opportunity to take a path of inner renewal taking us ever closer to Christ our Lord", said Pope Francis to the members of the Oriental Lumen Foundation in America, who are meeting in Rome in these days as part of an ecumenical pilgrimage.
    "These dimensions are absolutely essential to proceed along the road that leads us to reconciliation and full communion among all believers in Christ. There is no true ecumenical dialogue without openness to inner renewal and the search for greater fidelity to Christ and to His will".
    The Holy Father expressed his satisfaction at learning that the pilgrims had decided to honour the memory of Popes St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, remarking that "this decision underlines their great contribution to the development of ever closer relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. The example of these two saints is without doubt enriching for all of us, since they always bore witness to an ardent passion for Christian unity".
    The Pope asked those present to pray for him during their pilgrimage to Rome, "so that, with the intercession of these two Saints, my predecessors, I may carry out my ministry as bishop of Rome in the service of the communion and unity of the Church, always following the will of the Lord". With regard to the pilgrims' upcoming meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holinesss Bartholomaio I, in Fanar, he remarked that he too will meet with the Patriarch during his apostolic trip to Turkey in November. "I beg you to convey to him my cordial and fraternal greetings, as testimony of my affection and esteem".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Holy Father's calendar for November 2014
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the following calendar of liturgical celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside in November:
    Saturday, 1: Solemnity of All Saints. At 4 p.m., Holy Mass at the Cemetery of Verano, Rome.
    Sunday, 2: Solemnity of All Souls. At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Crypts, a moment of prayer for deceased Supreme Pontiffs.
    Monday,3: At 11.30 a.m., Holy Mass for cardinals and bishops who died during this past year.
    Sunday, 23: Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. At 10.30 a.m. in the Papal Chapel, Holy Mass for the canonisation of Blesseds Giovanni Antonio Farina, Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family, Ludovico da Casoria, Nicola da Longobardi, Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart and Amato Ronconi.
    Friday 28 to Sunday 30: Apostolic trip to Turkey.

    ___________________________________________________________

    World Meeting of Popular Movements: the excluded are the motor of social change
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office to present the World Meeting of Popular Movements, to be held in Rome from 27 to 29 October. The event was organised by the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace", in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and the leaders of various movements.
    The speakers at the conference were Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of "Justice and Peace", Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, and Juan Grabois, head of the Confederation of Workers of the Popular Economy, dedicated principally to organisations and movements for the excluded and marginalised.
    Grabois knew Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and emphasised that the then-Cardinal Bergoglio sympathised with the struggle of excluded workers in very difficult moments, and accompanied them in the work of assisting the cartoneros, peasants, those forced to live on the streets and, in general, the heirs of a crisis brought on by neoliberal capitalism. "Francis summons us again today, from a universal perspective; he calls to the poor, organised in thousands of popular movements, to fight, without arrogance but with courage, without violence but with tenacity, for this dignity that has been taken from us, and for social justice".
    "Our encounter responds mainly to concrete and simple objectives we share and want to pass on to our children and grandchildren, but that are increasingly harder for the popular majority to reach: land, housing and work", he continued, also expressing the need to promote the organisation of the poor "to construct from grass-roots level a human alternative to this exclusionary globalisation that has robbed us of our sacred rights to housing, work, land, the environment and peace".
    The World Meeting of Popular Movements will be attended by the social leaders of the five continents, representing organisations of increasingly excluded social sectors: workers in precarious employment conditions; migrants; temporary workers; the unemployed and those those who are self-employed, without legal protection, labour rights or union recognition; peasants; the landless; indigenous peoples and those at risk of expulsion from the fields as a result of agricultural speculation and violence; and those who live in the peripheries and in temporary settlements, often migrants and displaced peoples, who are marginalised, forgotten, and without adequate urban infrastructure. Alongside them there are trades unions and social, charitable and human rights organisations, who have demonstrated their closeness to these movements and who, it has been suggested, might accompany them, respecting the role of grass-roots movements.
    "The aims of the meeting include sharing Pope Francis' thought on social matters, debating the causes of growing social inequality and the increase in exclusion throughout the world, reflecting on the organisational experiences of popular movements and the resolution of problems regarding land, housing and work, evaluating the role of movements in the processes of peace-building and care for the environment, especially in regions affected by conflicts and disputes over natural resources, discussing the relationship between popular movements and the Church, and how to go ahead in the creation of joint and permanent collaboration".
    Grabois emphasised the importance of the two acts with which the meeting will conclude: the publication of a final declaration with the widest consensus possible, and the constitution of a Council of Popular Movements which will work to establish possible cases of global level collaboration.
    Cardinal Turkson stated that it was essential for both the Church and the world to "listen to the cry for justice" from the excluded; "not only to the sufferings, but also to the expectations, hopes and proposals which the marginalised themselves have. They must be protagonists of their own lives, and not simply passive recipients of the charity or plans of others. They must be protagonists of the needed economic and social, political and cultural changes. ... The Church wants to make its own the needs and aspirations of the popular movements, and to join with those who, by means of different initiatives, are making every effort to stimulate social change towards a more just world".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;
    - Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio in Nigeria, and Holy See permanent observer at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
    - delegation from the World Union of Catholic Teachers.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 31 21:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - N-# 188
    DATE 28-10-2014

    Summary:
    - The Pope in the World Meeting of Popular Movements: combat the structural causes of poverty
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope in the World Meeting of Popular Movements: combat the structural causes of poverty
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) rC" This morning in the Synod Hall the Holy Father met with participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements (27 to 29 October), organised by the Pontifical Council rCLJustice and PeacerCY in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and with the leaders of various movements.
    The Pope spoke about the term solidarity, rCLa word that is not always well acceptedrCY, that is much maligned and almost rCLunrepeatablerCY; however it is a word that indicates much more than a few sporadic acts of generosity. It means thinking and acting in terms of community, of prioritising the life of all over and above the appropriation of goods by the few. It also means fighting the structural causes of poverty, inequality, unemployment, lack of land and housing, and the denial of social and labour rights. It means facing the destructive effects of the empire of money: forced displacement, painful migration, human trafficking, drugs, war, violence and all these situations that many of you suffer and that we are all called upon to transform. Solidarity, in its deepest sense, is a way of making history and this is what the popular movements dorCY.
    He went on to remark that this meeting does not correspond to any form of ideology and that the movements work not with ideas, but with reality. rCLIt is not possible to tackle poverty by promoting containment strategies to merely reassure, rendering the poor 'domesticated' , harmless and passiverCY, he continued. rCLThis meeting corresponds to a more concrete desire, that any father or mother would want for their children: an aspiration that should be within the reach of all but which we sadly see is increasingly unavailable to the majority: land, housing and work. It is strange, but if I talk about this, there are those who think that the Pope is communistrCY.
    rCLToday, the phenomenon of exploitation and oppression assumes a new dimension, a graphical and hard edge of social injustice: those that cannot be integrated, the marginalised, are discarded, rCLcast-offsrCY. This is the throwaway culture rCa This happens when the centre of an economic system is the god of money and not humanity, the human person. At the centre of every social or economic system there must be the person, the image of God, created as the denominator of the universe. When humanity is displaced and supplanted by money, this disruption of values occursrCY.
    Pope Francis mentioned the problem of unemployment, and added that rCLevery worker, whether or not he is part of the formal system of paid work, has the right to fair remuneration, social security and a pension. 'Cartoneros', those who live by recycling waste, street vendors, garment makers, craftspeople, fishermen, farmers, builders, miners, workers in companies in receivership, cooperatives and common trades that are excluded from employment rights, who are denied the possibility of forming trades unions, who do not have an adequate or stable income. Today I wish to unite my voice to theirs and to accompany them in their strugglerCY.
    He went on the mention the theme of peace and ecology. rCLWe cannot strive for land, housing, or work if we are not able to maintain peace or if we destroy the planet. rCa Creation is not our property, that we may exploit as we please; far less so, the property of the few. Creation is a gift, a wonderful gift that God gave us, to care for and to use for the benefit of all, always with respect and gratituderCY.
    rCLWhy, instead of this, are we accustomed to seeing decent work destroyed, the eviction of many families, the expulsion of peasants from the land, war and the abuse of nature? Because this system has removed humanity from the centre and replaced it with something else! Because of the idolatrous worship of money! Because of the globalisation of indifference rC" 'what does it matter to me what happens to others, I'll defend myself'rCY. Because the world has forgotten God, the Father: it has become an orphan because it has turned aside from GodrCY.
    He emphasised that rCLChristians have something very good, a guide to action, a revolutionary programme, we might say. I strongly recommend that you read it, that you read the BeatitudesrCY.
    He concluded by highlighting the importance of walking together and remarking that rCLpopular movements express the urgent need to revitalise our democracies, that are so often hijacked by many factors. It is impossible to imagine a future for society without the active participation of the majority, and this role extends beyond the logical procedures of formal democracyrCY.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) rC" The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Richard Daniel Alarcon Urrutia of Tarma, Peru as metropolitan archbishop of Cuzco (area 23,807, population 1,594,000, Catholics 1,538,000, priests 138, religious 318), Peru.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 31 21:53:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - N-# 189
    DATE 29-10-2014

    Summary:
    - General Audience: the relationship between the visible reality and spiritual nature of the Church
    - Pope Francis' appeal to the international community: stop the spread of Ebola and assist the suffering
    - Statistics on the Catholic Church in Turkey
    - Private and informal meeting between the Pope and President Evo Morales: affection and closeness to the people and Church of Bolivia
    - The Holy See in the United Nations: peace must be negotiated in the Middle East
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General Audience: the relationship between the visible reality and spiritual nature of the Church
    Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) rC" The Church: spiritual nature and visible reality. rCLTwo different things or a single Church?rCY, said the Pope in this Wednesday's general audience, returning in his catechesis to the theme of the Church. rCLIf the Church is always onerCY, he continued, rCLhow can we understand the relationship between the visible and spiritual reality?rCY.
    Francis commented that when we speak about visible reality we must not think only of the Pope, bishops, priests, nuns and consecrated persons. rCLThe visible reality of the Church is constituted by the many baptised brothers and sisters throughout the world who believe, hope and love. rCa The Church is all of usrCY. Therefore, the visible reality of the Church cannot be measured or known in its entirety. rCLHow can we know all the wonders that Christ is capable of achieving through us, in the hearts and lives of people?rCY he said. rCLSee: even the visible reality of the Church goes beyond our control, beyond our strength, and it is a mysterious reality, as it comes from GodrCY.
    To understand the relationship between the visible and spiritual realities of the Church we must look to Christ, rCLwhose body is the Church and from whom She is generated, in an act of infinite love. Indeed, also in Christ, through the mystery of the Incarnation, we recognise a human nature and a divine reality, united in the same person in a wonderful and indissoluble way. This applies in a similar way to the Church rCa who is a mystery too, in which what we are unable to see is more important than what we can see, and can be recognised only with the eyes of faithrCY.
    The Holy Father went on to ask how visible reality could be placed at the service of the spiritual nature of the Church, explaining that it is possible by following the example of Christ, rCLwho made use of His humanity, as He was also a man, to announce and implement the divine plan for redemption and salvation, as He was God. Through her visible reality, from all that we see, the sacraments and the witness of all Christians, the Church is called each day to be close to every person, beginning with the poor; to the suffering and the marginalised, so as to make them aware of Jesus' compassionate and merciful gazerCY.
    Before concluding, he asked all the faithful present to pray for the gift of faith, rCLso that we are able to comprehend how, despite our limits and our poverty, the Lord has truly made us instruments of His grace and the visible sign of His love for all humanity. We can become the source of scandal, it is true. But we can also become the source of witness, saying through our lives what Jesus wants from usrCY.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' appeal to the international community: stop the spread of Ebola and assist the suffering
    Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) rC" After today's catechesis, Pope Francis expressed his grave concern regarding the worsening of the Ebola epidemic, rCLthis implacable disease that is spreading especially in Africa, and in particular among the most disadvantaged populationsrCY.
    The Holy Father expressed his affection and closeness in prayer to those affected, along with the doctors, nurses, volunteers, religious institutes and associations rCLwho are making heroic efforts to help our stricken brothers and sistersrCY. He renewed his appeal to the international community rCLto take all necessary measures to eradicate the virus and to alleviate the suffering of those who are so sorely afflictedrCY.
    Addressing the faithful present in St. Peter's Square, he concluded, rCLI invite you to pray for them and for those who have lost their livesrCY.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Statistics on the Catholic Church in Turkey
    Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) rC" The Holy Father will make an apostolic visit to Turkey from 28 to 30 November. The following statistical data on the Catholic Church in the country is provided by the Central Office of Church Statistics.
    Turkey has an area of 774,815 square kilometres and a population of 76,140,000 inhabitants of whom 53,000 are Catholics rC" 0.07 % of the population. There are 7 ecclesiastic circumscriptions, 54 parishes and 13 pastoral centres. The work of the apostolate is carried out by 6 bishops, 58 priests, 7 male religious and 54 female religious, and 2 permanent deacons. There are 2 lay members of secular institutes, 7 lay missionaries and 68 catechists. There are 4 major seminarians.
    In addition, the Catholic Church in Turkey has 23 educational centres consisting of pre-schools, primary schools, middle schools and secondary schools, as well as 6 centres of special education. There are also 3 hospitals, 2 clinics and 5 homes for the elderly and disabled.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Private and informal meeting between the Pope and President Evo Morales: affection and closeness to the people and Church of Bolivia
    Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) rC" The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained yesterday afternoon that President Evo MoralesrCO visit to the Vatican was due to his attendance at the International Meeting of Popular Movements, organised by the Pontifical Council rCLJustice and PeacerCY. Participants in the event received in audience by the Pope on the morning of 28 October.
    The visit was not, therefore, organised through the usual diplomatic channels. The private and informal meeting between the Holy Father and the President which took place yesterday evening was an expression of affection and closeness to the Bolivian people and Church, and of support for the improvement of relations between the authorities and the Church within the country.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See in the United Nations: peace must be negotiated in the Middle East
    Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) rC" Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York participated in the Security Council Open Debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question. The nuncio's address, structured in six points, focuses on the Holy See's conviction that peace in the Middle East may be achieved only through negotiation and not by unilateral decisions imposed by force.
    rCLAs regards the Israeli-Palestinian question, the Holy See reiterates its support for a two State solutionrCY, he affirmed. rCLIsrael and Palestine, with the vigorous support of the competent organs of the United Nations and of the whole international community, must work toward the final objective, which is the realisation of the right of the Palestinians to have their own State, sovereign and independent, and of the right of the Israelis to peace and securityrCY.
    rCLAs regards the horrific situation in SyriarCY, he continued, rCLthe Holy See urgently calls on all parties to stop the massive violations of international humanitarian law and fundamental human rights, and on the international community to help the parties find a solution. There is no other way to alleviate and put an end to the untold sufferings of the entire nation, where half of its population needs humanitarian assistance and around a third has been displacedrCY.
    With regard to Lebanon, rCLthe Holy See calls for international solidarity, at this time that the country is gravely affected by the Syrian crisis and by the massive presence of refugees, and exhorts Lebanon to find a solution as soon as possible to the vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic. The Holy See reaffirms its support for a sovereign and free Lebanon. Lebanon is a 'message', a 'sign' full of hope for the coexistence of the various groups that form itrCY.
    Turning to the rCLgrave violations and abuses committed by the so-called 'Islamic State' in Iraq and Syria, the competent organs of the United Nations must act to prevent possible new genocides and to assist the increasing number of refugees. The Holy See appeals in particular for the protection of the ethnic and religious groups, including the Christian communities, who are specifically targeted and victimised because of their ethnic origins and religious beliefs. The Holy See insists on the respect of the right of these communities and all the displaced persons to return to their homes and to live in dignity and safetyrCY.
    rCLThe Holy See hopes that the United Nations take the escalating, ruthless phenomenon of international terrorism as an occasion to urgently re-enforce the international juridical framework of a multilateral application of the responsibility to protect people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and all forms of unjust aggression. With lessons learned from our failure to stop recent horrors of genocide and presently confronted with blatant, massive violations of fundamental human rights and of international humanitarian law, the time is for courageous decisionsrCY, urged the Permanent Observer.
    rCLThe Holy See reiterates its call to all the religious leaders in the region and everywhere in the world to play a leading role in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue, in promptly denouncing every use of religion to justify violence, and in educating all to reciprocal understanding and mutual respectrCY, the nuncio concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 29 October 2014 (VIS) rC" The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Giuseppe Negri, P.I.M.E., of Blumenau, Brazil, as coadjutor of the diocese of Santo Amaro, (area 563, population 3,281,000, Catholics 2,624,000, priests 192, religious 448), Brazil.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 31 21:55:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 190
    DATE 30-10-2014

    Summary:
    - The Pope to the Old Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Union of Utrecht: build bridges of mutual understanding and practical cooperation
    - Cardinal Lozano Barragan takes possession of his titular church
    - The Holy See at the UN General Assembly: lasting peace based on mutual trust, beyond the logic of nuclear deterrent
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to the Old Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Union of Utrecht: build bridges of mutual understanding and practical cooperation
    Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) - "A spiritual journey from encounter to friendship, from friendship to brotherhood, and from brotherhood to communion" must be embarked upon by Catholics and Old Catholics to promote unity of the Church in Christ, Pope Francis affirmed this morning as he received the members of the the Conference of Old Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Union of Utrecht, whose visit to Rome coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council's Decree "Unitatis Redintegratio" on ecumenism, which marked the beginning of a new era in the search for unity among Christ's disciples.
    In his address, the Holy Father remarked that the work carried out during the intervening years by the International Roman Catholic / Old Catholic Dialogue Commission has made it possible to "build new bridges of a more profound mutual understanding and practical co-operation. ... Convergences and consensus have been found, and differences have been better identified and set in new contexts".
    "While we rejoice whenever we take steps towards a stronger communion in faith and life, we are also saddened when we recognise that in the course of time new disagreements between us have emerged", he continued. "The theological and ecclesiological questions that arose during our separation are now more difficult to overcome due to the increasing distance between us on matters of ministry and ethical discernment. The challenge for Catholics and Old Catholics, then, is to persevere in substantive theological dialogue and to walk together, to pray together and to work together in a deeper spirit of conversion towards all that Christ intends for his Church. In this separation there have been, on the part of both sides, grave sins and human faults. In a spirit of mutual forgiveness and humble repentance, we need now to strengthen our desire for reconciliation and peace. The path towards unity begins with a change of heart, an interior conversion. It is a spiritual journey from encounter to friendship, from friendship to brotherhood, from brotherhood to communion. Along the way, change is inevitable. We must always be willing to listen to and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth".
    "In the meantime, in the heart of Europe, which is so confused about its own identity and vocation, there are many areas in which Catholics and Old Catholics can collaborate in meeting the profound spiritual crisis affecting individuals and societies. There is a thirst for God. There is a profound desire to recover a sense of purpose in life. There is an urgent need for a convincing witness to the truth and values of the Gospel. In this we can support and encourage one another, especially at the level of parishes and local communities. In fact, the soul of ecumenism lies in a 'change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians'. In prayer for and with one another our differences are taken up and overcome in fidelity to the Lord and his Gospel", Pope Francis concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Lozano Barragan takes possession of his titular church
    Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Saturday, 1 November, at 11 a.m., Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care), will take possession of the title of Santa Dorotea (Via di Santa Dorotea, 23).

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at the UN General Assembly: lasting peace based on mutual trust, beyond the logic of nuclear deterrent
    Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) - On 14 October, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, spoke during the General Debate of the UNGA First Committee held in New York. "The past year has seen progress on the elimination of chemical weapons", he affirmed; "yet reports of the continued use of chemical weapons, including chlorine gas, reminds the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate once and for all chemical weapons and any use as a weapon of dual-use chemicals".
    "With regard to nuclear weapons, the third conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, which will be held in December in Vienna, Austria, is a sobering reminder of the deep frustration of the international community at the lack of speedy progress on nuclear disarmament, and of the inhuman and immoral consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction". He remarked that the ninth Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will take place very soon in New York, and that nearly all the States represented in the room are parties to the treaty. "The NPT's central promise of nuclear weapons States to gradually disarm in exchange for non-nuclear-weapon States to refrain from acquiring nuclear arms remains at an impasse".
    As a consequence, he continued, the Holy See delegation "urges this Committee and the preparation for the ninth NPT Review Conference to focus on the need to move beyond nuclear deterrence, and work toward the establishment of lasting peace founded on mutual trust, rather than a state of mere non-belligerence founded on the logic of mutual destruction. In this regard, the Holy See urges all states to sign and/or ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty without further delay, because it is a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime", adding that the establishment of weapons of mass destruction free zones, in the opinion of the Holy See delegation, "would be a big step in the right direction, as it would demonstrate we can indeed move toward a universal agreement to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction".
    The archbishop concluded by emphasising that the Holy See "welcomes the progress, however modest, in the areas of conventional weapons", but remains "deeply concerned that the flow of conventional arms continues to exacerbate conflicts around the globe". He expressed the delegation's hope that "this year's session will respond to this challenge, and recognise the grave consequences of the proliferation and use of conventional weapons on human life throughout the world".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 30 October 2014 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, and entourage;
    - Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, apostolic nuncio in Italy and the Republic of San Marino;
    - Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio in Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway;
    - Bishop Jose Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo, Mexico.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Oct 31 21:57:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 191
    DATE 31-10-2014

    Summary:
    - The Pope to the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Renewal: seek unity without fearing diversity
    - Pope Francis' prayer intentions for November
    - Mission of the secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" in Damascus
    - The Holy See at the United Nations: climate change is not only an environmental problem, but also a matter of justice
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - In memoriam

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Renewal: seek unity without fearing diversity
    Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) - "Seek the unity which is the work of the Holy Spirit and do not be afraid of diversity", said Pope Francis in his address to a thousand members of the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship, who are about to begin their Sixteenth International Conference on the theme "Praise and Worship for a New Evangelisation".
    "Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way", he underlined. "Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences!".
    Referring to the programme, where the names of the Communities are mentioned, he noted that in the introduction there is the phrase, "to share the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the whole Church", and reiterated that the Church and all Christians need to open their hearts to the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit ... reveals Jesus Christ to us, and leads us to a personal encounter with him. ... Is this your experience? Share it with others! In order to share this experience, you must live it and bear witness to it!"
    "Praise is the 'breath' which gives us life, because it is intimacy with God, an intimacy that grows through daily praise", continued the Holy Father, explaining how spiritual life "works" by analogy with human respiration. "Breathing is made up of two stages: inhaling, the intake of air, and exhaling, the letting out of this air. The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling and exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is no Christian life. And with praise, worship. We rarely speak about worship. What do we do when we pray? We ask things of God, we give thanks ... But worshipping and adoring God is part of breathing - praise and worship".
    The Pope emphasised that "Charismatic Renewal has reminded the Church of the necessity and importance of the prayer of praise", which is "the recognition of the Lordship of God over us and over all creation expressed through dance, music and song. ... The prayer of praise bears fruit in us. Sarah danced as she celebrated her fertility - at the age of ninety! This fruitfulness gives praise to God. ... Together with the prayer of praise, the prayer of intercession is, in these days, a cry to the Father for our Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted and murdered, and for the cause of peace in our turbulent world".
    "Charismatic Renewal is, by its very nature, ecumenical", he remarked, citing the words of Blessed Paul VI : "The power of evangelisation will find itself considerably diminished if those who proclaim the Gospel are divided among themselves in all sorts of ways. Is this not perhaps one of the great sicknesses of evangelisation today? The Lord's spiritual testament tells us that unity among his followers is not only the proof that we are his but also the proof that he is sent by the Father. It is the test of the credibility of Christians and of Christ himself. Yes, the destiny of evangelisation is certainly bound up with the witness of unity given by the Church'".
    Spiritual ecumenism, he concluded, is "praying and proclaiming together that Jesus is Lord, and coming together to help the poor in all their poverty. We must not forget that today the blood of Jesus, poured out by many Christian martyrs in various parts of the world, calls us and compels us towards the goal of unity. For persecutors, we are not divided: we are not Lutherans, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Catholics. No! We are one. For persecutors, we are Christians. It is an ecumenism of blood that we live today!".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' prayer intentions for November
    Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) - Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for November is: "That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others".
    His intention for evangelisation is: "That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Mission of the secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" in Damascus
    Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) - From 28 to 31 October the secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, visited Damascus in order to attend the meeting of the assembly of Catholic bishops in Syria.
    Msgr. Dal Toso also met with various institutions, especially Catholic, that are currently involved in humanitarian aid activities in the country.
    In these meetings, special appreciation was expressed for the commitment of the Holy Father and the Holy See to supporting the Christian communities and the population as a whole, who suffer as a result of the conflict, and for encouraging dialogue and reconciliation among the various parties.
    Emphasis was also placed on the important role of Catholic aid organisms, who benefit all of the Syrian population. Through the generous contribution of the international community, in the face of growing need, this assistance will have to be intensified in the future.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at the United Nations: climate change is not only an environmental problem, but also a matter of justice
    Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) - On 16 October Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations, addressed the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, dedicated to "Sustainable development: protection of global climate for present and future generations".
    "While the impact of climate change is felt globally, developed and technologically advanced countries have greater capacity to adapt and mitigate the adverse effects, whereas developing and poor nations remain particularly vulnerable", he said. "During the Climate Summit on September 23 and on many other occasions, we have heard the urgent pleas of Small Island States that climate change is an existential threat to them. This is paradoxical and unjust, given that the primary factors of climate change, like high consumption and high-quantity greenhouse gas emissions, characterize highly industrialised societies. That is why the Holy See believes that climate change is not only an environmental question; it is also a question of justice and a moral imperative".
    "It is a matter of justice to help poor and vulnerable people suffering the most from causes largely not of their making and beyond their control", emphasised the archbishop. "One concrete step would be to make available to them the best in adaptation and mitigation technology. And now all eyes are already turned to the Twenty-first Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Eleventh Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which will take place in Paris in December 2015. There, the poor and the rich - indeed, all of us - will be winners if we can reach agreement on a post-2020 international regime, in which all the nations of the world, including the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, bind themselves to a universal agreement on climate".
    "It is along this line that my delegation sees a relevance of the term 'responsibility to protect', not only in the humanitarian and human rights areas, but in the question of climate change as well. Everyone shares the responsibility to protect our planet and the human family. ... Let us make the conscientious choice of refraining from lifestyles and behaviour that could worsen the state of our planet, and let us promote initiatives that protect and heal it. The world has become a village; thus, we must become more and more aware of this mutual and common responsibility. In particular, States have the grave duty to make policy decisions and devise monitoring structures to ensure that present and future generations live in a safe and worthy environment", he concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Bruno Neve de Mevergnies, new ambassador of Belgium to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters;
    - Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Archbishop Martin Krebs, apostolic nuncio in New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Palau, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Tonga, and apostolic delegate in the Pacific Ocean;
    - Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Jean Mbarga of Ebolowa, Cameroon, as archbishop of Yaounde (area 23,807, population 1,594,000, Catholics 1,538,000, priests 138, religious 318), Cameroon. Bishop Mbarga was formerly apostolic administrator of the same archdiocese.
    - The following consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Fr. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., France, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences; Msgr. Alejandro Cifres Gimenez, Spain, archivist of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Fr. Paolo Carlotti, S.D.B., Italy, advisor to the Apostolic Penitentiary; Fr. Tomislav Mrkonjic, O.F.M. Conv., Croatia, scriptor of the Vatican Secret Archive; Fr. Paul Murray, O.P., Ireland, Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; Fr. Martin McKeever, C.S.S.R., Ireland, of the Alphonsianum Academy, Rome; Fr. Jordi-Agusti Pique i Collado, O.S.B., Spain, of the Liturgical Institute of the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome; Fr. Rocco Ronzani, O.S.A., Italy, of the Augustinianum Patristic Institute, Rome; Fr. Pablo Santiago Zambruno, O.P., of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; Fr. Raffaele Di Muro, O.F.M. Conv., Italy, of the "San Bonaventura" Theological Faculty; Professor Gabriele Zaccagnini, Italy, of the University of Pisa; Professor Angela Ales Bello, of the Pontifical Academy of Theology.

    ___________________________________________________________

    In memoriam
    Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
    - Bishop Cirilo B. Flores of San Diego, California, U.S.A., on 6 September at the age of 66.
    - Bishop Joseph Abangite Gasi, emeritus of Tombura-Yambio, South Sudan, on 12 September at the age of 86.
    - Bishop Servilio Conti, I.M.C., prelate emeritus of Roraima, Brazil, on 14 September at the age of 97.
    - Bishop Jose Luis Serna Alzate, emeritus of Libano-Honda, Colombia, on 28 September at the age of 78.
    - Archbishop Carlo Curis, apostolic nuncio in Canada, on 29 September at the age of 90.
    - Archbishop Angelo Mottola, apostolic nuncio in Montenegro, on 8 October at the age of 79.
    - Bishop John Patrick Boles, ex-auxiliary of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on 9 October at the age of 84.
    - Bishop Jose Hernan Sanchez Porras of the Military Ordinariate of Venezuela, on 13 October at the age of 70.
    - Bishop Joao Corso, S.D.B., emeritus of Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 15 October at the age of 86.
    - Bishop Jose Refugio Mercado Diaz, auxiliary emeritus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, on 15 October at the age of 72.
    - Bishop Patrick Paul D'Souza, emeritus of Varanasi, India, on 16 October at the age of 86.
    - Bishop Paul Henry Walsh, auxiliary emeritus of Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.A., on 18 October at the age of 77.
    - Bishop Peter Baptist Tadamaro Ishigami, O.F.M. Cap., emeritus of Naha, Japan, on 25 October at the age of 93.
    - Bishop Manuel Revollo Crespo, C.M.F., coadjutor emeritus of the Bolivia Military Ordinariate, on 26 October at the age of 89.
    - Bishop Mansour Hobeika of Zahleh, Lebanon, on 28 October at the age of 72.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Nov 4 07:36:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 193
    DATE 04-11-2014

    Summary:
    - The Holy See at the United Nations: solidarity to eradicate poverty
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at the United Nations: solidarity to eradicate poverty
    Vatican City, 4 November 2014 (VIS) - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York, spoke at the 69th Session of the General Assembly held on 23 October, regarding the "Eradication of Poverty".
    Speaking in English, the nuncio expressed the Holy See delegation's belief that "countries should develop evidence-based policies and strategies to combat extreme poverty, rather than relying on pre-conceived one-size-fits-all solutions. Analyses and suggested solutions need to be based on on-the-ground expertise and lived experience, rather than on imposed ready-made solutions from the outside, which are not always devoid of ideological colourings".
    He also remarked that sustainable development "requires the participation of all in the life of families, communities, organisations and societies. Participation is the antidote to exclusion, be it social, political, economic or cultural". Another barrier to sustainable development, he noted, is "the exclusion of women from equal and active participation in the development of their communities. Excluding women and girls from education and subjecting them to violence and discrimination violates their inherent dignity and fundamental human rights".
    "My delegation wishes to highlight that poverty is not mere exclusion from economic development; it is as multifaceted and multidimensional as the human person. ... Other than its more obvious economic expression, poverty also manifests itself in the educational, social, political, cultural and spiritual dimensions of life. ... Development is more than the sum total of resources invested into development projects and their measurable material results. ... In our efforts to eradicate poverty, we must always return to the foundational principle of our efforts, namely to promote the authentic development of the whole person and of all peoples. Each of us needs to contribute. Each of us can benefit. This is solidarity".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 4 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Peter F. Christensen of Superior, U.S.A., as bishop of Boise City (area 218,272, population 1,584,985, Catholics 174,348, priests 91, permanent deacons 75, religious 91), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Michael P. Driscoll, whose resignation from the same diocese upon having reached the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Bishop Christopher Kakooza, auxiliary of Kampala, Uganda, as bishop of Lugazi (area 4,595, population 1,549,134, Catholics 667,362, priests 80, religious 209), Uganda. He succeeds Bishop Matthias Ssekamanya, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon having reached the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Bishop Adolfo Armando Uriona, F.D.P., of Anatuya, Argentina as bishop of Villa de la Concepcion del Rio Cuarto (area 58,519, population 466,000, Catholics 443,000, priests 93, permanent deacons 10, religious 82), Argentina.
    - Rev. Fr. Carlos Enrique Trinidad Gomez as bishop of San Marcos (area 3,791, population 982,000, Catholics 637,000, priests 45, religious 103), Guatemala. The bishop-elect was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a licentiate in theology and liturgy from the Higher Institute of Liturgy in Barcelona, Spain, and has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, as parish priest and episcopal vicar in the diocese of Santiago de Guatemala and as lecturer, bursar and rector of the interdiocesan major seminary.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Nov 5 08:24:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 194
    DATE 05-11-2014

    Summary:
    - General audience: a Church separated from her bishop is an ailing Church
    - The Holy Father: the annulment process must be kept separate from economic interests
    - New norms on resignations of diocesan bishops and officials of the Roman Curia
    - Exhibition of the Holy Shroud in Turin
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: a Church separated from her bishop is an ailing Church
    Vatican City, 5 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father dedicated today's catechesis to the hierarchical dimension of the Church. Christ edifies the Church as His body through her ministries, and it is through the episcopal ministry that the Lord is present in His Church, guiding and caring for her.
    "In the presence and in the ministry of the bishops, the presbyters and the deacons", he said, "we are able to recognise the true face of the Church. ... And through these brothers, elected by the Lord and consecrated by the sacrament of ordination, the Church exercises her maternity". Francis emphasised that this office is not, however, an honour but rather a service to be performed following Christ's example.
    He also remarked that bishops must be united, as a family. "When Jesus chose and called the Apostles, he imagined them not separated from each other, but together, united with Him, like one family. The bishops too constitute a single college, gathered around the Pope, who is the guardian and guarantor of this profound communion". He added, "let us think of all those bishops around the world who, while living in widely differing locations, cultures, sensibilities and traditions ... feel close to one another and become an expression of the intimate bond, in Christ, between their communities".
    The Pope concluded by explaining that a healthy Church cannot exist if the faithful, deacons and presbyters are not united with their bishop: "The Church separated from her bishop is an ailing Church. This union of the faithful and the bishop is willed by Jesus".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy Father: the annulment process must be kept separate from economic interests
    Vatican City, 5 November 2014 (VIS) - Before arriving in St. Peter's Square for the usual Wednesday morning general audience, Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the course on marriage organised by the Roman Rota, in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. The Pope commented that during the recent Synod of Bishops, there had been discussions regarding the procedures for annulment and the need to streamline them for reasons of justice. Francis also spoke of the many people who wait for years for a judgement to be reached. "Sometimes the procedures are very long and difficult, which does not help matters, and people give up".
    The Pontiff emphasised the importance of this type of course and the need to be careful to ensure that the procedures do not become linked to economic interests, referring to public scandals. He noted that during the Synod some proposals had been made regarding the costs of the process. "When spiritual interest is attached to economic interests, then it not a matter of God". He concluded, "The Mother Church has enough generosity to be able to provide justice freely, as we are freely justified by Jesus Christ. This point is important - these two issues must be separate".

    ___________________________________________________________

    New norms on resignations of diocesan bishops and officials of the Roman Curia
    Vatican City, 5 November 2014 (VIS) - The Rescriptum modifying the presentation and acceptance of resignation from pastoral ministry by diocesan bishops and offices of the Roman Curia by pontifical appointment came into effect today.
    The text is as follows:
    Art. 1: The current discipline in the Latin Church and in the "sui iuris" Oriental Churches, by which diocesan and eparchal Bishops, and those held to be of equivalent office in accordance with canons 381 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law and 313 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, as well as coadjutor and auxiliary Bishops, are invited to present the resignation from their pastoral office upon reaching the age of seventy-five years, is confirmed.
    Art. 2: Resignation from the aforementioned pastoral offices is effective only from the moment in which it is accepted by the legitimate Authorities.
    Art .3: With the acceptance of the resignation from the aforementioned offices, the interested parties cease to hold any other office at national level conferred for a period determined in concomitance with the aforementioned pastoral office.
    Art. 4: The gesture of a Bishop who, by motives of love or the wish to offer a better service to the community, considers it necessary to resign from the role of Pastor before reaching the age of seventy-five on account of illness or other serious reasons, is to be deemed worthy of ecclesial appreciation. In such cases, the faithful are requested to demonstrate solidarity and understanding for their former Pastor, providing punctual assistance consistent with the principles of charity and justice, in accordance with canon 402 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
    Art. 5: In some particular circumstances, the competent Authorities may deem it necessary to request that a Bishop present his resignation from pastoral office, after informing him of the cause for this request, and listening closely to his reasons, in fraternal dialogue.
    Art. 6: Cardinals serving as Heads of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia and other Cardinals holding office by pontifical nomination are also required, upon the competion of their seventy-fifth year of life, to present their resignation from office to the Pope, who, after full consideration, will proceed.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Exhibition of the Holy Shroud in Turin
    Vatican City, 5 November 2014 (VIS) - A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning during which Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin, Italy, presented the next exhibition of the Holy Shroud, to be held in Turin from 19 April to 24 June, on the theme "The Greatest Love". He also presented the initiatives for the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of St. John Bosco and remarked that Pope Francis intends to visit Turin during this period.
    Other speaks in the conference were Piero Fassino, mayor of Turin; Elide Tisi, deputy mayor; and Marco Bonatti, Press Officer for the Exhibition Committee.
    This will be the third time the Shroud has been displayed to the public during this millennium and the event will focus on two themes: the young, and those who suffer. It is precisely for this reason that the Pope has allowed the solemn exposition, which coincides with the Jubilee for the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco.
    As on previous occasions, special attention will be paid to the sick who visit the Holy Shroud. The pastoral ministry for healthcare in Turin will make two reception centres available for pilgrims and carers. In addition, with the collaboration of more than 3500 volunteers, moments of prayer will be held, and a confessional service in different languages will be available in locations in the area near the Cathedral.
    The visit will be free of charge but booking is obligatory, to enable the effective management of the flow of pilgrims. Booking is online, at www.sindone.org.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 5 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Milton Kenan Junior, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Barretos (area 8,770, population 354,000, Catholics 284,000, priests 42, permanent deacons 1, religious 106), Brazil.
    - Bishop Joao Jose da Costa, O. Carm., of Iguatu, Brazil, as coadjutor of the archdiocese of Aracaju, Brazil.
    - Rev. Pr. Corrado Maggioni, S.M.M., as under secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Rev. Fr. Maggioni was previously Office Head of the same congregation.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Nov 7 08:36:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 196
    DATE 07-11-2014

    Summary:
    - The Pope to Bishops, friends of the Focolare Movement: the globalisation of solidarity against the globalisation of indifference
    - Francis receives the major superiors: charisms are not to be conserved like bottles of distilled water, but to be put to the service of history
    - The Holy See at the United Nations: for globalisation in search of mutual benefits
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to Bishops, friends of the Focolare Movement: the globalisation of solidarity against the globalisation of indifference
    Vatican City, 7 November 2014 (VIS) - "The Eucharist, mystery of communion" is the theme of the ecumenical convention of bishops, friends of the Focolare Movement. This is an annual event uniting bishops not only from different countries but also from different churches and ecclesial communities, defined by Pope Francis as the result of "what is produced by the love of the Word of God and the will to conform existence to the Gospel; these attitudes, created and accompanied by the grace of the Holy Spirit, help nurture many initiatives, allowing solid friendships to thrive and producing significant moments of brotherhood and sharing".
    The Holy Father reiterated the value, in a troubled world, of a "clear testimony of unity between Christians and an explicit declaration of esteem, respect and, more precisely, fraternity between us. This fraternity is a shining sign of our faith in the risen Christ. Indeed, if we intend to endeavour, as Christians, to respond incisively to the many problems and crises of our time, it is necessary to speak and act as brothers, so that everyone can easily recognise us as such. This too is a way - perhaps for us the first - of responding to the globalisation of indifference with a globalisation of solidarity and fraternity".
    Among the issues that currently call to the conscience of Christians and their pastors, the Pope mentioned the "lack of freedom to publicly express one's religion and to live openly in accordance with Christian ethics; the persecution of Christians and other minorities; the sad phenomenon of terrorism; the refugee crisis caused by wars and other reasons; the challenge of fundamentalism and, at the other extreme, exasperated secularism".
    These challenges are a call to "seek with renewed effort, with constancy and patience, the ways that lead to unity, so that the world might believe, and so that we first may be filled with confidence and courage. Among these paths there is a special route, and it is the Eucharist as the mystery of communion. ... The Lord's Supper, a central moment in the life of the community, a 'moment of truth', is the encounter between Christ's grace and our responsibility; there, in the Eucharist, we are clearly aware that unity is a gift, and at the same time it is a very serious responsibility", concluded the Pontiff.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis receives the major superiors: charisms are not to be conserved like bottles of distilled water, but to be put to the service of history
    Vatican City, 7 November 2014 (VIS) - The participants in the national assembly of the Italian Confederation of Major Superiors (CISM) - around a hundred people - were received in audience by the Pope this morning in the Clementine Hall. The Pontiff wished to share with them a few points of reference for their path, emphasising that religious life helps the Church to achieve the "attraction" that enables her to grow. Faced with the witness of a brother or a sister who truly lives a religious life, people ask themselves, "what is there here?", "what is it that leads this person beyond a worldly horizon?". This is the first issue: helping the Church to grow by attraction. Without proselytising: attraction".
    The second point was that radicality, in different forms, is required of every Christian, but in the case of religious persons it assumes the form of prophetic witness. "The testimony of an evangelical life is what distinguishes the missionary disciple and in particular those who follow the Lord in consecrated life. And prophetic witness coincides with sanctity. True prophecy is never ideological, it does not oppose the institution: it is institution. Prophecy is institutional, it does not follow fashion, but is always a sign of contradiction according to the Gospel, like Jesus was. Jesus, for example, was a sign of contradiction to the religious authorities of His time: to the heads of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the doctors of the Law, but also to the others, such as the Essenes, Zealots, etc".
    To explain the third point, the Pope quoted the president of the Major Superiors: "We do not want to fight rearguard battles in defence, but rather to spend ourselves among the people", certain of the faith that God has always made germinate and grow in His Kingdom. This is not easy, it is not to be taken for granted; it requires conversion; it requires, first and foremost, prayer and worship; and it means sharing with the holy people of God who live in the peripheries of history. Removing oneself from the centre. Every charism, to live and to be fruitful, is required to decentralise, because at the centre there is only Jesus Christ. The charism is not to be conserved like a bottle of distilled water, but must instead be made to bear fruit, with courage, placed at the service of current reality, of cultures, of history, as the great missionaries of our institutes teach us".
    Fraternity is another of the signs that religious life must offer in our time, the Pope affirmed; a time in which the dominant culture is individualistic and focused on subjective rights. "Consecrated life can help the Church and society as a whole, offering witness of fraternity, that it is possible to live together as brothers in diversity, because in the community one does not put oneself first, but rather one finds oneself with people who are different in terms of character, age, formation, sensibility ... and yet we seek to live as brothers. Of course we do not always succeed, but one recognises one's mistakes, asks for forgiveness and forgives others. This is good for the Church: it causes the lymph of fraternity to circulate. And this is also good for all of society.
    But this fraternity "presupposes God's paternity and the maternity of the Church and of the Mother, the Virgin Mary": a relationship cultivated day by day "with prayer, with the Eucharist, with worship, with the Rosary. In this way we renew each day our 'being' with Christ and in Christ, and in this way we place ourselves in an authentic relationship with the Father in heaven and the Mother Church, our hierarchical Holy Mother Church, and the Mother Mary. If our life is always located in terms of this fundamental relations, always renewed, then we are able also to achieve an authentic fraternity, a brotherhood of witness, that attracts".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at the United Nations: for globalisation in search of mutual benefits
    Vatican City, 7 November 2014 (VIS) - "The central challenge in the post-2015 development agenda is to ensure that globalisation benefits everyone. ... We need to strengthen multilateralism to help achieve this goal and manage the different risks and interlinked challenges associated with globalisation", said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York, speaking at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 27 October, on the theme "Globalisation and Interdependence".
    The prelate spoke about the great benefits globalisation can bring, as well as the widening inequalities. "When globalisation brings people together as equal partners, it creates mutually beneficial results, a win-win partnership for all. If not, globalisation breeds greater inequalities and marginalization, exploitation and injustice. Indeed, as with most human endeavours, globalisation works for good or ill, depending on the underlying ethic and policies driving the process".
    The nuncio went on to mention two related issues, culture and the phenomenon of migration. "Culture is a prime vehicle to express and share our common humanity", he said. "It is critically important if authentic human flourishing is the ultimate goal of economic activity and development and ... given all these benefits and values of culture, we should not reduce it to the logic of market exchange. ... A community's culture is their gift to the global common good, for it is an expression of their humanity, and through culture we can enter into a real dialogue because it speaks to our common humanity".
    On migration, the archbishop emphasised that "it affects everyone, not only because of the extent of the phenomenon, but also because of the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises", adding that "the Holy See would like to highlight the particularly troubling cases of human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery spawned by migration. ... These modern forms of slavery are the opposite of a globalisation driven by the culture of encounter and the values of solidarity and justice".
    "It is necessary always to see the human face of migration, to see the migrant as a fellow human being, endowed with the same human dignity and rights as ourselves. It is only then that we can respond to the globalisation of migration with the globalisation of solidarity and cooperation. Moreover, solidarity with migrants is not enough, if it is not accompanied by efforts towards bringing peace in conflict-ridden regions and a more equitable economic world order. If globalisation has shrunk the world into a village, we may as well become good neighbours", he concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 7 November 2014 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome;
    - Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect emeritus for the Clergy; delegate for Amazonia at the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.
    Yesterday, 6 November, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, with Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the same dicastery.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 7 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Msgr. Jean-Philippe Nault as bishop of Digne (area 6,986, population 163,500, Catholics 112,800, priests 41, permanent deacons 10, religious 136), France. The bishop-elect was born in Paris, France in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1998. After his studies in agricultural engineering and artificial intelligence, he obtained a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including director of the Shrine of Ars, parish priest of Notre-Dame de Bourg and dean of Bourg-en-Bresse, in the diocese of Belley-Ars. He succeeds Bishop Francois-Xavier Loizeau, whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Terence Robert Curtin and Rev. Fr. Mark Stuart Edwards, O.M.I., as auxiliaries of the archbiocese of Melbourne (area 27,194, population 4,095,921, Catholics 1,111,981, priests 537, permanent deacons 8, religious 2,218), Australia.
    Msgr. Curtin was born in Cremorne, Australia in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1971. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome and a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Melbourne. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including chaplain and director of the School of Religion and Philosophy of the Australian Catholic University in Oakleigh; director of the department of religion and philosophy of the Australian Catholic University, Victoria; director of the department of theology of the Australian Catholic University, Victoria; and vice-president and subsequently president of the Melbourne College of Divinity. He is currently director of the Catholic Theological College, Melbourne, parish priest of Greythorn, and episcopal vicar of Melbourne for the East Region. In 2012 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness.
    Rev. Fr. Edwards was born in Balikpapan, Indonesia in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1986. He holds a doctorate in philosophy and a bachelor's degree in letters and education from the Monash University of Melbourne. He has held a number of roles in the Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, including vice-rector of the Iona College of Brisbane; master of novices art the St. Mary's Seminary, Mulgrave; professor at the Catholic Theological College of Melbourne; and head of scholastics at the St. Mary's Seminary, Mulgrave. He is currently rector of the Iona College, Brisbane.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Nov 11 08:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 198
    DATE 11-11-2014

    Summary:
    - Pontifical Letter to G-20: "Responsibility for the poor and marginalised must be an essential element of any political decision"
    - The Pope to the Italian Episcopal Conference: no to "clerical" or "functionary" priests
    - Special College of cardinals and bishops to study the appeals process for serious offences established in the Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pontifical Letter to G-20: "Responsibility for the poor and marginalised must be an essential element of any political decision"
    Vatican City, 11 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a message to Tony Abbott, prime minister of Australia, who will chair the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the 20 Countries (G-20) scheduled to take place on 15 and 16 November in Brisbane. The agenda of the meeting will focus on efforts to relaunch sustained and sustainable growth of the world economy and the fundamental imperative, which emerged from the preparatory work, of creating dignified and stable employment for all. Extensive extracts from the text are published below:
    "I would ask the G20 Heads of State and Government not to forget that many lives are at stake behind these political and technical discussions, and it would indeed be regrettable if such discussions were to remain purely on the level of declarations of principle. Throughout the world, the G20 countries included, there are far too many women and men suffering from severe malnutrition, a rise in the number of the unemployed, an extremely high percentage of young people without work and an increase in social exclusion which can lead to criminal activity and even the recruitment of terrorists. In addition, there are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy.
    It is my hope that a substantial and productive consensus can be achieved regarding the agenda items. I likewise hope that the assessment of the results of this consensus will not be restricted to global indices but will take into account as well real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality. I express these hopes in light of the post-2015 Development Agenda to be approved by the current session of the United Nations Assembly, which ought to include the vital issues of decent work for all and climate change.
    The G20 Summits, which began with the financial crisis of 2008, have taken place against the terrible backdrop of military conflicts, and this has resulted in disagreements between the Group's members. It is a reason for gratitude that those disagreements have not prevented genuine dialogue within the G20, with regard both to the specific agenda items and to global security and peace. But more is required. These conflicts leave deep scars and result in unbearable humanitarian situations around the world. I take this opportunity to ask the G20 Member States to be examples of generosity and solidarity in meeting the many needs of the victims of these conflicts, and especially of refugees.
    The situation in the Middle East has revived debate about the responsibility of the international community to protect individuals and peoples from extreme attacks on human rights and a total disregard for humanitarian law. The international community, and in particular the G20 Member States, should also give thought to the need to protect citizens of all countries from forms of aggression that are less evident but equally real and serious. I am referring specifically to abuses in the financial system such as those transactions that led to the 2008 crisis, and more generally, to speculation lacking political or juridical constraints and the mentality that maximisation of profits is the final criterion of all economic activity. A mindset in which individuals are ultimately discarded will never achieve peace or justice. Responsibility for the poor and the marginalised must therefore be an essential element of any political decision, whether on the national or the international level".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to the Italian Episcopal Conference: no to "clerical" or "functionary" priests
    Vatican City, 11 November 2014 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, read the message sent by Pope Francis to the participants in the 67th General Assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference, of which Cardinal Bagnasco is president. The meeting, which will finish next Thursday, is being held at the Domus Pacis of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, and is dedicated to the life and formation of priests.
    In his message, the Holy Father writes that convening in Assisi recalls "the great love and veneration that St. Francis nurtured for the hierarchical Holy Mother Church, and in particular for priests ... through whom the maternity of the Church reaches the entire People of God. How many of them we have known!" he exclaims. "We have seen them spending their lives amongst the people of our parishes, educating the young, accompanying families, visiting the sick at home and in hospital, and taking care of the poor", in the knowledge that the gravest error is to separate oneself from others.
    "Holy priests are sinners who have been forgiven, and instruments of forgiveness. Their existence speaks the language of patience and perseverance; they are not tourists of the spirit, eternally undecided and unsatisfied, as they know that they are in the hands of He Who never fails in His promises, and whose Providence ensures that nothing can ever separate them from their belonging. ... Yes, it is still the time for priests of this substance, 'bridges' enabling the encounter between God and the world".
    "Priests like this cannot be improvised: they are forged through the valuable formative work of the Seminary, and Ordination consecrates them forever as men of God and servants of His people". However, "the identity of the presbyter, precisely as it comes from above, demands he follow a daily itinerary of reappropriation, starting from that which made of him a minister of Jesus Christ. ... The formation of which we speak .... is without end, as priests never cease to be disciples of Jesus and to follow Him. Therefore, formation as discipleship accompanies the ordained minister throughout his life", writes the Holy Father. "Initial and continuing formation are two parts of a single entity: the path of the presbyter disciple, enamoured of his Lord and constantly following him". "You are aware that there is no need for clerical priests whose behaviour risks distancing people from the Lord, or functionary priests who, while they fulfil their role, seek their consolation far from Him. Only those who keep a steady gaze on what is truly essential may renew their acceptance of the gift they have received. ... Only those who allow themselves to conform to the Good Shepherd find unity, peace and strength in the obedience of service; only those who take their breath in presbyteral fraternity leave behind the falsehood of a conscience that claims to be the epicentre of everything, the sole measure of their feelings and actions".
    The Pontiff concluded by expressing his hope that the participants in the Assembly would experience "days of listening and comparison, leading to the definition of itineraries of permanent formation, able to link spiritual and cultural, communicative and pastoral dimensions: these are the pillars of life formed according to the Gospel, preserved in daily discipline, in prayer, in the guardianship of the senses, in care for oneself, in humble and prophetic witness; lives that restore to the Church the trust that she first placed in them".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Special College of cardinals and bishops to study the appeals process for serious offences established in the Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela
    Vatican City, 11 November 2014 (VIS) - St. John Paul II's Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (SST), published on 30 April 2001 and implemented on 21 May 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI, defines the offences reserved to the competence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (cf. Art. 1-6), in accordance with Art. 52 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.
    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith judges these offences by penal or administrative procedures (cf. Art. 21 paras 1 and 2, No. 1 SST), taking into account the possibility of submitting the decision directly to the Supreme Pontiff in the most serious cases (see Art. 21 para. 2, No. 2 SST). Crimes against faith remain, in the first instance, within the sphere of competence of the Ordinary or the Hierarch (cf. Art. 2 para. 2 SST).
    Due to the number of appeals and the need to guarantee that they are examined more rapidly and following detailed reflection, in the Audience granted to Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on 3 November 2014, the Holy Father Francis decreed the following:
    1. A special college is to be instituted within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, composed of seven cardinals or bishops, who may either be members of the Dicastery or external to it;
    2. The President and the members of the aforementioned College are to be appointed by the Pope;
    3. The College is a provision made by the Ordinary Session of the Congregation to enable greater efficiency in processing appeals in accordance with Art. 27 SST, without substantive modification to its competences as established in the same Art. 27 SST;
    4. Should the offender be of episcopal dignity, his appeal shall be examined by the Ordinary Session, which will also be able to decide specific cases according to the Pope's judgement. Other cases to be decided by the College may also be deferred to the Ordinary Session;
    5. The College shall periodically report its decisions to the Ordinary Session;
    6. Specific internal regulations shall determine the working methods of the College.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 11 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in audience Emma Madigan, new ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See, presenting her letters of credence.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 11 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Prosper Balthazar Lyimo as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Arusha (area 67,340, population 2,364,000, Catholics 512,073, priests 128, religious 639), Tanzania. The bishop-elect was born in Kyou-Kilema, Tanzania in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He studied canon law at the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, and subsequently obtained a doctorate in canon law from St. Paul's University, Ottowa, Canada, and is currently chancellor and judicial vicar of the archdiocese of Arusha, Tanzania.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Nov 12 08:00:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 199
    DATE 12-11-2014

    Summary:
    - General audience: the spiritual and human alphabet of ministers of the Church
    - Francis expresses his closeness to persecuted Christians and the Mexican people
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: the spiritual and human alphabet of ministers of the Church
    Vatican City, 12 November 2014 (VIS) - What is required of ministers of the Church - bishops, priests and deacons - for their service to be authentic and fruitful?". This was the question posed by Pope Francis in his catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square.
    In his pastoral epistles, St. Paul lists, alongside faith and spiritual life, a number of human qualities essential for these ministries: hospitality, temperance, patience, gentleness, reliability, and goodness of heart. These, said the Holy Father, are "the alphabet, the grammar at the base of every ministry! Without this predisposition to encounter, know, enter into dialogue with, appreciate and relate to one's brethren in a respectful and sincere way, it is impossible to offer a service and a truly joyful and credible witness".
    There is another basic attitude that Paul recommends to his disciples and, consequently, to all those in whom pastoral ministry is invested: the continual renewal of the gift received. "This means always keeping alive the awareness that one does not become a bishop, priest or deacon for being more intelligent or better than others, but by receiving a gift from God ... for the good of His people. This knowledge is truly important and constitutes a grace to be asked for every day. Indeed, a pastor who is aware that his ministry stems solely from the mercy and from the heart of God can never assume an authoritarian attitude, as if he had everyone at his feet and as if the community were his own property, his own personal kingdom".
    "The awareness that it is all a gift, it is a grace, also helps the pastor not to give in to the temptation to place himself at the centre of attention and to trust only in himself. These are the temptations of vanity, pride, sufficiency, arrogance. God does not like it when a bishop, priest or deacon thinks that he knows it all, that he always has the right answer for everything and has no need for anyone else", exclaimed Francis. "On the contrary, the knowledge that he, first and foremost, is the object of God's mercy and compassion must lead a minister of the Church always to be humble and understanding towards others. While in the knowledge of being required to courageously guard the faith entrusted to him, he must always be willing to listen to the people. Indeed, he is aware that there is always something to learn, even from those who may be distant from the faith and from the Church. All this must lead him to assume, with his brethren, a new attitude characterised by sharing, corresponsibility and communion".
    "We must always be grateful to the Lord Who, in the person and the ministry of the bishops, priests and deacons, continues to guide and form His Church, enabling her to grow along the path of sanctity. At the same time, we must continue to pray, so that the pastors of our communities may be the living image of communion and of God's love", concluded the bishop of Rome.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis expresses his closeness to persecuted Christians and the Mexican people
    Vatican City, 12 November 2014 (VIS) - "It is with great trepidation that I follow the dramatic events of Christians who in various parts of the world are persecuted and killed for their religious beliefs. I feel the need to express my profound spiritual closeness to the Christian communities who are so badly afflicted by an absurd violence that shows no sign of stopping, and I encourage the pastors and all faithful to be strong and firm in their hope".
    The Pope thus launched a heartfelt appeal to all those with political responsibility at local and international levels, as well as all persons of good will, "to mobilise consciences on a large scale in favour of persecuted Christians. They have the right to find safety and serenity in their own countries, freely professing their faith".
    Before concluding the general audience, the Pope greeted the faithful in various languages, and dedicated some off-the-cuff comments to pilgrims from Mexico. "I wish to express to the Mexicans, those present and those in their homelands, my closeness in this painful moment following the formal disappearance, which we know to be the assassination, of students. This makes visible the dramatic reality of the criminality behind the trade and trafficking in drugs. I am close to you and your families".
    Francis also recalled that in these days the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty between Argentina and Chile, which was achieved as a result of the "will to dialogue", and, recalling with gratitude the role played by St. John Paul II and Cardinal Antonio Samore in this treaty, he expressed his hope that "all peoples in conflict for any reason, territorial or cultural, will be encouraged to resolve them through dialogue and not by the cruelty of war".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 12 November 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - a delegation from the Catholic-Muslim forum;
    - a group of sick children and disabled persons.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Bishop Cesar Augusto Franco Martinez as bishop of Segovia (area 6,949, population 166,200, Catholics 156,200, priests 185, religious 387), Spain. Bishop Franco Martinez is currently auxiliary of the archdiocese of Madrid. He succeeds Bishop Angel Rubio Castro, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Fr. Antonio Tourinho Neto as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Olinda e Recife (area 4,058, population 3,996,000, Catholics 3,777,000, priests 275, permanent deacons 23, religious 1,216), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Jequie, Brazil in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Institute of Canon Law of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Jequie, including: defender of the bond and promoter of justice, judge auditor of the Ecclesiastical Chamber, parish priest of the Santo Antonio Cathedral, chancellor of the diocesan curia, spiritual director of the Joao Paulo II diocesan seminary, and parish priest of the community of Santo Antonio do Quilometro Cem in the municipality of Brejoes. He is currently vicar general in the diocese of Jequie.
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Zaragoza, Spain, presented by Archbishop Manuel Urena Pastor, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Nov 13 08:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 200
    DATE 13-11-2014

    Summary:
    - Pope Francis receives the president of Austria
    - "Habemus Papam": first historical documentation of the music of a Conclave
    - Catholics and Muslims, working together to serve others
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis receives the president of Austria
    Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Republic of Austria, Heinz Fischer, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
    During the cordial discussions, after emphasising the positive bilateral relations between Austria and the Holy See, the Parties focused on themes of common interest, including the importance of promoting religious freedom and human rights, and commitment to interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
    Finally, various issues of an international nature were examined, especially regarding the situation in the Middle East.

    ___________________________________________________________

    "Habemus Papam": first historical documentation of the music of a Conclave
    Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the CD "Habemus papam", a compilation of the music of all the celebrations of the 2013 Conclave performed by the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir under the direction of the maestro Msgr. Massimo Palombella, S.D.B. and issued by Deutsche Grammaphon. The speakers at the conference were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Msgr. Massimo Palombella, S.D.B., director of the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir; Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director general of Vatican Radio, and Mirko Gratton, director of the Classical Division of Deutsche Grammophon Italia.
    Maestro Palombella explained that in September 2014 an exclusive agency contract was signed between the record label Deutsche Grammophon and the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir two produce two musical collections. The first, "great ecclesial events", which opens with the CD "Habemus papam", is dedicated to live recordings by Vatican Radio of celebrations at which Pope Francis has presided. The second consists of studio recordings by the Sistine Chapel Choir of its characteristic repertoire, music composed throughout history for papal celebrations.
    The double CD "Habemus papam", on sale in Italy from 11 November and in the rest of the world from 28 November, contains all the music performed during the celebrations of the Conclave in 2013 (Mass for the election of the Roman Pontiff in St. Peter's Basilica, entry into the Conclave, Mass with the Cardinal Electors in the Sistine Chapel and Mass for the inauguration of the Petrine Ministry in St. Peter's Square), along with the "Habemus Papam" announcement and Pope Francis' first address from the Loggia of the Blessings. This publication is presented as the first historical documentation of the music of a Conclave", commented Msgr. Palombella. "They are all live recordings, with the qualities and limits that this entails. Indeed, one perceives the freshness of "authenticity" along with the background noise, coughs, the clicks of cameras and even a helicopter circling above St. Peter's Square".
    The prelate remarked that the Pontifical Choir is the oldest choral institution in the world and is composed of 20 permanent adult singers and around 30 child choristers. The Choir normally performs at Celebrations presided at by the Pope, providing a primarily ecclesial service. Its concert activity is therefore directed exclusively towards evangelisation and to the promotion of ecumenical dialogue. To this end, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Choir sang alongside the Anglican Choir of Westminster, in 2013 with the Leipzig Thomanerchor, and in 2014, with the Orthodox Choir of the Patriarchate of Moscow. In September 2014, the Choir made an historic tour in China, performing in Hong Kong, Macao and Taipei.
    "For the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir, the agreement with the prestigious German record label Deutsche Grammophon is a tangible response to its mandate, which requires it on the one hand to safeguard the great musical heritage of the Church, and on the other, especially in the liturgical sphere, to participate in fruitful dialogue with modernity", concluded the maestro.
    The director of Vatican Radio, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., spoke about the experience accumulated by the radio station in the field of sound recording and broadcasting of numerous concerts in the Vatican, especially in the Paul VI Hall. "We all recall the concerts of exceptional quality during the pontificate of Benedict XVI". He offered the example of the extraordinary Christmas 1937 concert in the Hall of Blessings, broadcast live to 23 countries. "A concert directed by the Maestro Lorenzo Perosi, Msgr. Palombella's predecessor, with the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir, recorded by Vatican Radio and broadcast with the help of German technology", as during that year the new Telefunken transmitter was inaugurated.
    Fr. Lombardi also highlighted the activity of Vatican Radio in the production and exchange of quality recordings within the framework of the EBU/UER, the European Broadcasting Union, which brings together the public broadcasters of all European countries. Vatican Radio offers on average around ten high quality recordings per year as part of the EBU concert exchange circuit. Vatican Radio is also engaged in research and experimental activities in the field of sound recording, using new generation microphones, in collaboration with the Centre for Technological Research and Innovation of the Technological Strategies Directorate of the RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Catholics and Muslims, working together to serve others
    Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) - The third seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum was held in Rome from 11 to 13 November, on the theme "Working Together to Serve Others". Three specific issues were considered: working together to serve young people, enhancing interreligious dialogue, and service to society.
    The Catholic delegation was headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, co-ordinator of the Muslim side, was unable to attend the event for health reasons. The assembled participants sent him a message expressing their good wishes. The Muslim delegation was therefore headed by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
    The delegates acknowledged many examples across the world of active Catholic-Muslim collaboration in educational, charitable, and relief efforts. After the presentations of the papers and the discussions, which ensued in a cordial and fraternal atmosphere, the participants agreed on the following points:
    1. The delegates recognised that their gathering took place in a time of severe tension and conflict in the world, underlining the vital importance of enhanced service and mutual cooperation. In this context the delegates unanimously condemned acts of terrorism, oppression, violence against innocent persons, persecution, desecration of sacred places, and the destruction of cultural heritage. It is never acceptable to use religion to justify such acts or to conflate such acts with religion.
    2. The education of young people, be it in the family, school, university, church or mosque, is of the utmost importance for the promotion of a well-rounded identity which builds respect for others. To this end, school curricula and textbooks should portray an objective and respectful image of the other.
    3. The participants affirmed the importance of the culture of interreligious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding. This is required to overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions, and inappropriate generalisations, all of which damage the peaceful relationships we all seek.
    4. It was felt that dialogue should lead to action, particularly among young people. The participants encouraged Christians and Muslims to multiply opportunities for encounter and cooperation on joint projects for the common good.
    On Wednesday, 12 November, Pope Francis received the participants in audience, encouraging them to persevere on the path of Christian-Muslim dialogue, and he expressed his approval of their shared commitment to the selfless service of society.
    Finally, the delegates expressed their satisfaction at this fruitful encounter and their hopes for the next meeting of the Forum.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has received in audience:
    - Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;
    - Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum";
    - Archbishop Joseph Marino, apostolic nuncio in Malaysia and East Timor, apostolic delegate in Brunei.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Nov 14 08:24:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 201
    DATE 14-11-2014

    Summary:
    - Audience with the president of Peru: promote full development and the protection of the environment
    - Francis to accountants: the dignity of the person must prevail over bureaucracy
    - Programme for the Pope's apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines
    - Third World Congress of Movements Guided by Evangelii gaudium
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audience with the president of Peru: promote full development and the protection of the environment
    Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father Francis today received in audience, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the president of the Republic of Peru, Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso, who subsequently met with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, in the absence of Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
    During the cordial discussions, mention was made of the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Peru, with particular emphasis on the special role of Christianity in the formation of the identity of the country, as well as the contribution the Catholic Church has given and continues to guarantee in favour of the human, social and cultural progress of the population.
    Finally, there was an exchange of views on the political and social situation in the Region, with attention to the efforts made to promote full development and the protection of the environment.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis to accountants: the dignity of the person must prevail over bureaucracy
    Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) - "From your professional observatory, you are well aware of the dramatic situation faced by many people who are precariously employed or have lost their jobs; of the many families who pay the consequences; of the many young people in search of a first occupation and dignified work. They are many, especially immigrants, who are compelled to work illegally, and lack the most basic legal and economic guarantees", said the Pope this morning in his address to the seven thousand participants at the World Congress of Accountants, held in Rome from 10 to 13 November.
    In this economic context, there is a "strong temptation to defend one's own interests without worrying about the common good, without paying too much attention to justice and legality. However, we are all, especially those who exercise a profession associated with the good functioning of the economic life of a country, required to play a positive and constructive role in carrying out our work on a daily basis, aware that behind every piece of paper there is a story, and there are faces. In this task ... the Christian professional draws strength every day from prayer and the Word of God to carry out his or her own duties well, with skill and wisdom; and then, to go further than this, which means reaching towards those in difficulty; exercising that creativity that allows solutions to be found in situations of impasse; to make the reason of human dignity prevail over the rigidity of bureaucracy".
    Francis affirmed that the economy and finance are "dimensions of human activity and may be opportunities for encounters, dialogue, cooperation, the recognition of rights and the rendering of services, of dignity affirmed in work. But it is therefore necessary always to place man and his dignity at the centre, opposing those dynamics that tend to homogenise everything and place money at the summit. When money becomes the aim and reason for every activity and initiative, this leads to the prevalence of a utilitarian perspective and the untrammelled logic of profit that does not respect people, with the consequent widespread decline in the values of solidarity and respect for the human person. Those who work in various roles in economics and finance are required to make decisions that favour the social and economic well-being of humanity as a whole, offering everyone the opportunity to realise their own development".
    "You, in your profession", he said, addressing the accountants, "work alongside companies, but also families and individuals, to offer economic and financial advice. I encourage you always to work responsibly, favouring relationships of loyalty, justice and, if possible, fraternity, courageously facing, above all, the problems faced by the weakest and poorest. It is not enough to give concrete answers to economic and material questions; it is necessary to promote and cultivate the ethics of the economy, finance and work; it is necessary to keep alive the value of solidarity as a moral attitude, an expression of attention to others and all their legitimate needs. If we wish to hand our environmental, economic, cultural and social patrimony to future generations in a better condition than that in which we have inherited it, we must assume the responsibility of working for a globalisation of solidarity. ... And the social doctrine of the Church teaches us that the principle of solidarity works in harmony with that of subsidiarity. Thanks to the effect of these two principles, processes are placed at the services of humanity and enable the growth of justice, without which there cannot be true and lasting peace".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Programme for the Pope's apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines
    Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) - Today the Holy See Press Office published the programme for Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, scheduled for 12 to 19 January 2015.
    The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport on Monday, 12 January at 7 p.m. and will arrive in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on Tuesday 13 at 9 a.m. Following the welcome ceremony he will meet with the country's bishops at the archbishop's residence, after which he will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic. The day will conclude with an interreligious meeting at the Bandaranaike Memorial.
    On Wednesday, 14 January, during a Mass to be celebrated at 8.30 a.m. at the Galle Face Green, he will canonise Blessed Joseph Vaz and will then transfer by helicopter to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at Madhu. From there he will proceed by helicopter to Colombo.
    Thursday will begin with a visit to the chapel of Our Lady of Lanka in Bolawalana, after which the Pope will leave Sri Lanka and depart by air, at 9 a.m., for Manila, the capital of the Philippines, where he will be officially received at 5.45 p.m.
    On Friday, 16 January, Francis will pay a courtesy visit to the president of the Philippines in the presidential palace, followed by an address to the authorities and the diplomatic corps. At 11.15 a.m. in the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception he will celebrate Mass with bishops, priests and consecrated persons. His final activity on Thursday will be an encounter with families in the Arena Mall of Asia.
    On Saturday, 17 January, the Pontiff will transfer by air to Tacloban International Airport where he will celebrate Mass, followed by and lunch with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. In the afternoon he will bless the Pope Francis Centre for the Poor and will meet priests, consecrated persons, seminarians and families of the typhoon survivors in the cathedral of Palo. He will then return to Manila.
    On Sunday, 18 January, he will meet with the religious leaders of the Philippines at the St. Thomas University of Manila and later with young people at the university sports field. The day will conclude with a Mass celebrated in Rizal Park.
    On Monday, 19 January, the Pope will conclude his trip, leaving from Manila at 10 a.m. The aircraft carrying the Holy Father is expected to land in Rome's Ciampino airport at 5.40 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Third World Congress of Movements Guided by Evangelii gaudium
    Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning, in the Holy See Press Office, a conference was held to present the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and new communities. Promoted and organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity on the theme "The Joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy", the Congress will be held from 20 to 22 November in the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Pontifical College, Rome.
    The speakers in the conference were Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the same dicastery; Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement; and Jean-Luc Moens, president of Fidesco, young volunteers in evangelisation and development projects, and member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
    Cardinal Rylko remarked that the Pontifical Magisterium has perceived in the phenomenon of movements "a current of grace, a gift and a timely response from the Holy Spirit to the serious challenges that today's world poses to the mission of the Church". He recalled that, for St. John Paul II, movements constituted a "reason for hope for the Church and for mankind", and were seen by Pope Benedict XVI as "new incursions of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, powerful ways of living faith, a healthy provocation, of which the Church is always in need, and 'creative minorities', decisive for the future of humanity". He added that Pope Francis, in this respect, is in perfect harmony with his predecessors.
    The Congress will be attended by approximately three hundred laypersons - founders, moderators and general delegates - representing around a hundred movements and new communities, with a broad international dimension. They will be joined by a large number of pastors, bishops and priests. The prelate explained that the novelty of this Congress derives from the fact that it originated from the great meeting with the Pope that took place at Pentecost in 2013 in the context of the Year of Faith, and added that the theme of the congress clearly expresses that "our work is guided by the Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii gaudium'. This is the great challenge that Pope Francis presents to us. ... He wants an 'outbound' Church, that reaches out to the geographical and existential peripheries of our world, a Church that is particularly attentive and close to all the poor, suffering and excluded, the bitter product of the 'throwaway culture' that dominates nowadays. ... And it is precisely this that is the great and fundamental challenge that the movements wish to accept during this third world Congress'".

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    Audiences
    Vatican City, 14 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;
    - Franco Anelli, rector of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.

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    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Nov 18 19:24:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 203
    DATE 18-11-2014

    Summary:
    - The Pope receives in audience the President of Senegal: Church's commitment to peace and national reconciliation
    - International Conference on autism: three days to inspire hope
    - The Holy See at the United Nations: civilians are the first victims of conventional weapons
    - Fifty years on from the Council decree Unitatis Redintegratio

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    The Pope receives in audience the President of Senegal: Church's commitment to peace and national reconciliation
    Vatican City, 18 November 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father Francis received in audience Macky Sall, president of the Republic of Senegal, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the secretary for Relations with States, His Excellency Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.
    During the discussions, the cordial relations between the Holy See and Senegal were noted, and the important contribution offered by the Church in the sectors of education and healthcare was underlined, as well as her generous and greatly appreciated commitment to promoting peace and national reconciliation.
    Finally, there was an exchange of views on various themes of international interest, with particular reference to the current situations of crisis in the Region.

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    International Conference on autism: three days to inspire hope
    Vatican City, 18 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the 29th International Conference organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, on the theme "The person with autism spectrum disorders: animating hope", which will take place in the Vatican from 20 to 22 November.
    The speakers were Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care); Msgr. Jean-Marie Mate Musivi Mupendawatu and Fr. Augusto Chendi, M.I., respectively secretary and under-secretary of the same dicastery; and Stefano Vicari, head of the Department of Child Neuropsychiatry at the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital, Rome.
    Archbishop Zimowski explained that the term "autism" was first used by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in 1911 to describe the introversion of schizophrenic patients. Subsequently, in 1943, his colleague Leo Kanner described the disorder for the first time, affirming that autistic children were born with a congenital incapacity to establish normal contact with other people. It is currently defined as a "neuro-behavioural disturbance (also known as Kanner's Syndrome) of a pervasive type", of multifactorial origin. In general, autism spectrum disorders manifest themselves before the age of three, and are life-long. The most recent statistics confirm that around 1% of children worldwide are affected.
    "The many difficulties, including those of an ethical, moral and spiritual nature, faced by those with autism spectrum disorders and their carers have led us to choose such an important, difficult and delicate theme for this conference", the prelate explained. "It will be a special occasion for observing the advances that have been made in research and treatment, as well as legal and political-administrative aspects; three valuable days for listening and exchanging experiences, and learning from the world's most qualified specialists."
    The Conference will be attended by more than 650 people from 57 different countries, and will include an encounter with the Holy Father during the Wednesday general audience, as well as an exhibition of paintings by the Taiwanese autistic artist Leland Lee, a moment of prayer and testimonies from people affected by autism spectrum disorders, their families, and associations. Various famous Italian singers will offer a musical contribution.

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    The Holy See at the United Nations: civilians are the first victims of conventional weapons
    Vatican City, 18 November 2014 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in Geneva spoke at the annual meeting of Parties to the Convention on prohibitions or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects (CCW), held on 13 November.
    Speaking in English, the prelate presented three issues to be considered. First, he spoke on the work carried out on lethal autonomous weapons systems. He emphasised that, with regard to the automation and consequent risk of the dehumanisation of war, a global - "scientific, legal, cultural, economic, ethical, and humanitarian" - rather than solely military approach is indispensable. He added, "I would like to reaffirm our wish that the mandate regarding this topic be renewed taking into account the importance of preserving an official trace of the statements, documents, debates and discussions".
    Secondly, he considered the theme of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. "With growing urbanisation of the world population, the tendency of urban wars will increase. How to protect the civilian populations? What should we do to safeguard civil infrastructures, indispensable for the livelihood of large communities? ... What is certain, from the observations and data presently available, is that civilian populations are the first victims of conflicts. In many cases, they have no protection: millions of refugees and displaced people, a majority of them civilian victims, a great number are women and children; there is total or partial destruction of numerous urban centres; total disorganisation of social, academic, economic and political life; the exacerbation of hatred and of feelings of revenge that makes the re-establishment of peace and national reconstruction more difficult, if not impossible. It seems to me that an essential question touches all States parties: Does the CCW have something to say and do in such a situation? For the credibility and the integrity of the Convention and for the respect of the numerous victims, I would like to suggest adding this question to the agenda of the CCW".
    Finally, he mentioned the use of armed drones. "We are witnessing a certain proliferation of this technology and a growing use of it in various conflicts. ... The choice of indifference in relation to this question is counter-productive. The fact of not addressing problems at the right moment can have disastrous consequences and make them almost insoluble, as experience in other domains teaches us". He concluded by emphasising that "there is still time for the CCW to become interested in drones before they become an additional source of greater destabilisation when the international community needs, more than ever, stability, cooperation and peace".

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    Fifty years on from the Council decree Unitatis Redintegratio
    Vatican City, 18 November 2014 (VIS) - On 21 November 1964, after a long and laborious process, the Council Fathers approved the decree on ecumenism, "Unitatis Redintegratio" by 2,137 votes to 11. The document, which undoubtedly marked a qualitative leap in the relations between the Catholic Church and the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, continues to represent an indispensable point of reference for the Catholic Church in her commitment to ecumenism.
    The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the decree with two events. On Thursday, 20 November, in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Vespers will be celebrated, open to all, and attended by the members and consultors of this Council and the representatives of the Churches and ecclesial communities present in Rome, to give thanks to God for the fruits already gathered along the path of ecumenism during these last fifty years, and to invoke His blessing for the road that still lies ahead.
    On 21 November a meeting will take place in the Great Hall of the Pontifical Gregorian University, during which the Pastors and theologians of the Catholic Church and other Churches and ecclesial communities will reread the Council decree, each from his own point of view, discussing today's ecumenical challenges and those that await us in the future. The moderator of the event will be Professor Giovanni Maria Vian, editor of L'Osservatore Romano, and the speakers will be Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Bishop Irinej Bulovic of Backa, the Serb Orthodox Patriarch; Professor Timothy George of the Baptist World Alliance; Fr. William Henn, O.F.M. Cap., of the Pontifical Gregorian University; Teny Pirri Simonian of the Armenian Orthodox Church, Catholicosate of Cilicia; and Friederike Nussel of the Lutheran Church.
    The meeting will conclude the Council's plenary session, which will take place from 18 to 21 November and will focus on the theme: "The aim of ecumenism: principles, opportunities and challenges, fifty years after 'Unitatis Redintegratio'". Fifty years after its promulgation, the dicastery considers it useful to examine how the Council degree continues to inspire the ecumenical efforts of the Catholic Church in a changing landscape.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Nov 19 08:36:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 204
    DATE 19-11-2014

    Summary:
    - General Audience: We are all called to be holy
    - New appeal for the Holy Land: building peace is difficult, but life without peace is a torment
    - Cooperation and development in the pastoral care of migration must focus on positive aspects
    - Other Pontifical Acts

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    General Audience: We are all called to be holy
    Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) - As is usual on Wednesday morning, the Pope toured St. Peter's Square to greet the faithful and pilgrims awaiting him before the beginning of the General Audience. He dedicated today's catechesis to the universal vocation to sanctity, to provide an answer to the question, "In what does this universal vocation consist? And how can we fulfil it?"
    "Firstly, we must take into account that sanctity is not something that we procure, that we obtain ourselves through our qualities and capacities. Sanctity is a gift, it is the gift that the Lord Jesus gives to us, when He takes us with Him and clothes us in Himself, making us like Him", he said. "Sanctity is the most beautiful face of the Church: it is rediscovering oneself in communion with God, in the fullness of His life and His love. ... It is not the prerogative of the few: sanctity is a gift that is offered to all, without exclusion, and which therefore constitutes the distinctive characteristic of every Christian".
    "To be holy", he continued, "it is not necessary to be bishops, priests or religious. ... We are all called to be holy! ... It is by living with live and offering one's own Christian witness in our everyday occupations that we are called to become holy; and each person in the condition and in the state of life in which he finds himself": consecrated persons, married couples, unmarried baptised persons, parents, grandparents, catechists, educators and volunteers. "Every state of life leads to sanctity, if lived in communion with the Lord and in the service of one's brethren".
    Pope Francis urged those present to examine their consciences, asking how they could respond to the Lord's call to sanctity. He emphasised that when the Lord calls us to be holy, he does not ask us to do something weighty or sad, but rather offers us an invitation to share in his joy. "If we understand it in this way, everything changes and acquires a new meaning, beautiful, starting from the little things of everyday life. ... And each step towards sanctity will make us better people, free of selfishness and self-centredness, and open to our brothers and their needs". He added, "we do not walk the path of sanctity alone, each for himself, but rather together, in that single body that is the Church, loved and sanctified by the Lord Jesus Christ", and concluded by encouraging those present to continue on this path.

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    New appeal for the Holy Land: building peace is difficult, but life without peace is a torment
    Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) - "I follow with great concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not even spare places of worship", said the Pope following today's catechesis. "I assure a special prayer for all the victims of this dramatic situation and for those who suffer its consequences. From the depths of my heart, I appeal to those parties involved to put an end to this spiral of hate and violence and to take courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a torment!"
    He went on to remark that on Friday 21 November, the liturgical memory of the Presentation of Mary Most Holy at the Temple, Pro Orantibus Day will be celebrated, dedicated to cloistered religious communities. "It offers a good opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, devote themselves to God in prayer and constructive silence, acknowledging the primacy due solely to Him. Let us thank the Lord for the witness of cloistered life and ensure that they do not lack our spiritual and material support in order to fulfil their important mission".
    In his greetings in various languages, the Pope addressed the Polish pilgrims who yesterday celebrate the memory of Blessed Karolina Koszka, virgin and martyr, on the centenary of her death. "This young girl fulfilled her vocation to sanctity, dedicating herself to the service of those close to her through her purity of heart and fidelity to Christ unto death. May her example encourage all, especially the young, to seek ways to sanctity, even if this involves going against contemporary tendencies to seek an easy life, concentrating on selfish pleasure. I entrust the members of the "Pure Hearts Movement" to the protection of their Blessed patroness".
    Finally, the Holy Father greeted in Italian the young professionals, businesspeople and social entrepreneurs who are participating in the congress organised by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the Pontifical Universities of Rome, to promote approaches and attitudes to overcome social and economic exclusion. "I hope that this initiative may contribute to favouring a new mentality in which money is not considered an idol to be served, but rather a means for pursuing the common good", he concluded.

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    Cooperation and development in the pastoral care of migration must focus on positive aspects
    Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) - ""Cooperation and Development in the Pastoral Care of Migrations" is the theme of the 7th World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and taking place from 17 to 21 November. The meeting will be attended by more than three hundred people from 93 countries of all five continents, and will be structured in relation to three themes: the diaspora, migrants as partners, and the dignity of the migrant. In addition, during the conference eleven episcopal conferences will present their pastoral work with migrants and at the end of the meeting a final document will be drawn up, to serve as a guide for the next five years.
    The Congress is so designed that each day is dedicated to a different topic within the wider context of the theme of this Event: "Cooperation and Development in the Pastoral Care of Migrations". Our plan of action is structured in such a way so as to culminate, through the different conferences and further debates that elaborate on the key note addresses, in the personal exchange and the expression of concrete ideas and thoughts in the Working Groups of the afternoon. My dear friends, we are here not only to share our experiences and ideas, but to work together to elaborate recommendations and ideas that will be of assistance to each one of us in our pastoral care for the next few years.
    The speakers in the inaugural session will be Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council, the Italian minister of the Interior, Angelino Alfano, and the director general of the International Organisation for Migration (OMI), William Lacy Swing. A text sent by Msgr. Antonio Camilleri, under secretary for Relations with States, will also be read.
    Cardinal Veglio spoke on the challenges of the migratory phenomenon and the situations of emergency that require the attention of the international community, emphasising the risk that the destination countries receive migrants with hostility, distrust and prejudice. As a response to this problem he proposed two major lines of action: cooperation and development which, in the specific context of pastoral care, must accentuate the positive aspect of migratory phenomena.
    The minister of the Interior, Angelino Alfano, acknowledged that migration constitutes a political and institutional priority, and affirmed that receiving and helping immigrants is a responsible decision that Europe must take "to demonstrate in practice that the protection of every human life is the first duty of a State that wishes to define itself as civilised and democratic". The director of the International Organisation for Migration underlined the absolute priority of welcoming all immigrants and saving every human life, citing the example of the Italian "Mare Nostrum" project, and reiterated the need for more functional cooperation between the states of the European Union to better face salvage operations.
    Finally, Msgr. Camilleri, in his discourse, referred to the Church's ongoing commitment to accompanying countries and peoples on their path, often troubled and full of the unpredictable aspects linked to dislocation, and underlined the urgency of combating phenomena such as criminality and violence linked to migration.
    In his presentation of the Conference Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, secretary of the Pontifical Council, recalled that in the diaspora - "when migrants often leave behind their families and relatives in the hope of sending back remittances to better their economic and social status, and one day finding a way to help them migrate abroad as well" - there clearly emerges the theme of the family, whose care "requires not only cooperation between the country of origin and the country of destination, but also a strong cooperation between the Church of origin, and the Church which welcomes the migrant family".
    With reference to migrants as partners, he remarked that they contribute and cooperate substantially to the well-being and to the development not only of their country of origin, but of their country of adoption, and emphasised the need of improving public perception of migrants and immigration. He also spoke on the role of women migrants, whose movement in the past was closely linked to family reunification, whereas now they are "protagonists and leading players along with their male counterparts in the role that they undertake in today's society".
    With regard to the final theme, the dignity of the migrant, the archbishop commented that it is a concept that derives from the acknowledgement that all persons are created in God's own image and likeness and that religious, ethnic, social and cultural variables, citizenship or lack thereof, do not change this fact that gives any individual an inherent and immeasurable worth and dignity. The prelate concluded his presentation by noting the potential of young migrants in building social, economic, cultural and religious bridges of cooperation and understanding across societies and Church communities.

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    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 19 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Hilario Gonzalez Garcia as bishop of Linares (area 33,453, population 407,000, Catholics 360,000, priests 42, religious 58), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a licentiate from the Pontifical University of Mexico and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Monterrey, including spiritual director, prefect of studies in philosophy and vice rector of the major seminary; chaplain in various female religious communities; and executive secretary of the Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue of the Mexican Episcopal Conference. He is currently rector of the major seminary of Monterrey. He succeeds Bishop Ramon Calderon Batres, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - appointed Rene Bruelhart, director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF), as president of the same Authority.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Nov 28 08:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 211
    DATE 28-11-2014

    Summary:
    - The Pope arrives in Turkey, a land able to promote an encounter of civilisations and identify viable paths of peace and authentic progress
    - Indulgences for the Year of Consecrated Life
    - Notice

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    The Pope arrives in Turkey, a land able to promote an encounter of civilisations and identify viable paths of peace and authentic progress
    Vatican City, 28 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning Pope Francis began the sixth apostolic trip of his pontificate. His visit to Turkey is essentially of an ecumenical nature, like those of his predecessors; the country has occupied a privileged position in the geography of papal trips ever since the visit of the Apostolic Delegate Angelo Roncalli, referred to by the Turkish authorities as "the first Turkish pope in history" following his election as Pope John XXIII. Turkey was also the destination of Paul VI's fifth apostolic trip in 1967, a corollary of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land and his historic embrace with the Ecumenical Patriarch Atenagoras in Jerusalem. John Paul II continued the tradition with his fourth trip (1979) as did Benedict XVI with his fifth apostolic trip, in 2006.
    The Holy Father departed from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9 a.m., and reached the Turkish capital Ankara at 1 pm (local time) where he was received by the civil and religious authorities. He transferred by car to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic, the "Father of the Turks" who guided Turkey's radical rupture with its Ottoman past, laying down the foundations of the modern secular state in its 1937 Constitution. Upon arrival the Pope was received by the Commander of the Guard, ascended the Steps of Honour, left a floral tribute and prayed for a moment. He was then accompanied to the nearby "Tower of National Pact", where he signed the guest book.
    He then paid a visit to the Presidential Palace or "Ak Saray" (White Palace), inaugurated just two months ago by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and substituting the historic Cankaya Palace. The Holy Father was received by the president, and the two spoke in private for a few minutes, after which Pope Francis gave his first public address on Turkish soil, addressed to the authorities gathered in the Ak Saray.
    "I am pleased to visit your country so rich in natural beauty and history, and filled with vestiges of ancient civilisations. It is a natural bridge between two continents and diverse cultures", the Pope began. "This land is precious to every Christian for being the birthplace of Saint Paul, who founded various Christian communities here, and for hosting the first seven Councils of the Church. It is also renowned for the site near Ephesus which a venerable tradition holds to be the 'Home of Mary',the place where the Mother of Jesus lived for some years. It is now a place of devotion for innumerable pilgrims from all over the world, not only for Christians, but also for Muslims.
    "Yet, the reasons why Turkey is held with such regard and appreciation are not only linked to its past and ancient monuments, but also have to do with the vitality of its present, the hard work and generosity of its people, and its role in the concert of nations. It brings me great joy to have this opportunity to pursue with you a dialogue of friendship, esteem and respect, in the footsteps of my predecessors Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI. This dialogue was prepared for and supported by the work of the then apostolic delegate, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who went on to become Saint John XXIII, and by the Second Vatican Council".
    The Pope reiterated the need for a dialogue to "deepen the understanding and appreciation of the many things which we hold in common. Such a dialogue will allow us to reflect sensibly and serenely on our differences,and to learn from them. There is a need to move forward patiently in the task of building a lasting peace, one founded on respect for the fundamental rights and duties rooted in the dignity of each person. In this way, we can overcome prejudices and unwarranted fears, leaving room for respect, encounter, and the release of more positive energies for the good of all".
    Therefore, "it is essential that all citizens - Muslim, Jewish and Christian - both in the provision and practice of the law, enjoy the same rights and respect the same duties. They will then find it easier to see each other as brothers and sisters who are travelling the same path, seeking always to reject misunderstandings while promoting cooperation and concord. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression, when truly guaranteed to each person, will help friendship to flourish and thus become an eloquent sign of peace.
    "The Middle East, Europe and the world all await this maturing of friendship. The Middle East, in particular, has for too long been a theatre of fratricidal wars, one born of the other, as if the only possible response to war and violence must be new wars and further acts of violence. How much longer must the Middle East suffer the consequences of this lack of peace? We must not resign ourselves to ongoing conflicts as if the situation can never change for the better! With the help of God, we can and we must renew the courage of peace! Such courage will lead to a just, patient and determined use of all available means of negotiation, and in this way achieve the concrete goals of peace and sustainable development".
    Addressing the president, the Pope reaffirmed that "interreligious and intercultural dialogue can make an important contribution to attaining this lofty and urgent goal, so that there will be an end to all forms of fundamentalism and terrorism which gravely demean the dignity of every man and woman and exploit religion. Fanaticism and fundamentalism, as well as irrational fears which foster misunderstanding and discrimination, need to be countered by the solidarity of all believers. This solidarity must rest on the following pillars: respect for human life and for religious freedom, that is the freedom to worship and to live according to the moral teachings of one's religion; commitment to ensuring what each person requires for a dignified life; and care for the natural environment. The peoples and the states of the Middle East stand in urgent need of such solidarity, so that they can 'reverse the trend' and successfully advance a peace process, repudiating war and violence and pursuing dialogue, the rule of law, and justice.
    "Sadly, to date, we are still witnessing grave conflicts. In Syria and Iraq, particularly, terrorist violence shows no signs of abating. Prisoners and entire ethnic populations are experiencing the violation of the most basic humanitarian laws. Grave persecutions have taken place in the past and still continue today to the detriment of minorities, especially - though not only - Christians and Yazidis. Hundreds of thousands of persons have been forced to abandon their homes and countries in order to survive and remain faithful to their religious beliefs.
    Turkey, which has generously welcomed a great number of refugees, is directly affected by this tragic situation on its borders; the international community has the moral obligation to assist Turkey in taking care of these refugees. In addition to providing much needed assistance and humanitarian aid, we cannot remain indifferent to the causes of these tragedies. In reaffirming that it is licit, while always respecting international law, to stop an unjust aggressor, I wish to reiterate, moreover, that the problem cannot be resolved solely through a military response. What is required is a concerted commitment on the part of all, based on mutual trust, which can pave the way to lasting peace, and enable resources to be directed, not to weaponry, but to the other noble battles worthy of man: the fight against hunger and sickness, the promotion of sustainable development and the protection of creation, and the relief of the many forms of poverty and marginalisation of which there is no shortage in the world today".
    The Pope concluded, "Turkey, by virtue of its history, geographical position and regional influence, has a great responsibility: the choices which Turkey makes and its example are especially significant and can be of considerable help in promoting an encounter of civilisations and in identifying viable paths of peace and authentic progress. May the Most High bless and protect Turkey, and help the nation to be a strong and fervent peacemaker".

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    Indulgences for the Year of Consecrated Life
    Vatican City, 28 November 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father, on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, will concede plenary indulgences, with the customary conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to all members of the institutes of consecrated life and other truly repentant faithful moved by a spirit of charity, starting from the first Sunday of Advent this year until 2 February 2016, the day of the closure of the Year of Consecrated Life. The indulgence may also be offered for departed souls in Purgatory.
    Indulgence may be obtained:
    - In Rome, in participation in the international meetings and celebrations established in the calendar of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, and pious reflection on for a suitable period of time, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate approved form, and invocations of the Virgin Mary;
    - In all the particular Churches, during the days devoted to consecrated life in the diocese, and during diocesan celebrations organised for the Year of Consecrated Life, by visiting the cathedral or another sacred place designated with the consent of the Ordinary of the place, or a convent church or oratory of a cloistered monastery, and publicly reciting the Liturgy of the Hours or through a suitable period of time of devout reflection, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate approved form, and pious invocations of the Virgin Mary.
    Members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life who, on account of ill health or other serious reasons are prevented from visiting these sacred places, may nonetheless receive Plenary Indulgence if, completely detached from any type of sin and with the intention of being able to fulfil the three usual conditions as soon as possible, devoutly carry out the spiritual visit and offer their illness and the hardships of their life to God the merciful through Mary, with the addition of the prayers as above.
    To facilitate this access to divine grace by means of pastoral charity, the Apostolic Penitentiary Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, who signed the decree, asks that the canons, members of the Chapter, the priests of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and all others able to hear confessions offer themselves willingly and generously to the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and regularly administer Holy Communion to the sick.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 28 November 2014 (VIS) - Special editions of the VIS bulletin will be transmitted on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November, on the occasion of Pope Francis' apostolic trip to Turkey.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sat Nov 29 07:09:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 212
    DATE 29-11-2014

    Summary:
    - Francis at the Diyanet: violence seeking religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation
    - Pope Francis visits the Museum of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque
    - Cardinal Schonborn, Pope's special envoy in Kiev

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis at the Diyanet: violence seeking religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation
    Vatican City, 28 November 2014 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, following his address before the Turkish authorities in the Presidential Palace, the Holy Father met with the prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, after which he proceeded to the Diyanet, the Department for Religious Affairs and highest Sunni Islamic authority in Turkey. Although a secular state, 98% of the Turkish population is Muslim, of whom 68% are Sunni and 30% Shia. The president of the Diyanet, Mehmet Gormez, welcomed the Pope upon arrival and accompanied him to his office where they spoke privately for a minute. They then entered the Hall together, where Francis addressed the gathered Muslim and Christian political and religious leaders.
    "It is a tradition that Popes, when they visit different countries as part of their mission, meet also with the leaders and members of various religions. Without this openness to encounter and dialogue, a papal visit would not fully correspond to its purposes. And so I wished to meet you, following in the footsteps of my venerable predecessors. In this context, I am pleased to recall in a special way Pope Benedict XVI's visit to this very same place in November 2006. Good relations and dialogue between religious leaders have, in fact, acquired great importance. They represent a clear message addressed to their respective communities which demonstrates that mutual respect and friendship are possible, notwithstanding differences. Such friendship, as well as being valuable in itself, becomes all the more meaningful and important in a time of crisis such as our own: crises which in some parts of the world are disastrous for entire peoples".
    He continued, "Wars cause the death of innocent victims and bring untold destruction, inter-ethnic and interreligious tensions and conflicts, hunger and poverty afflicting hundreds of millions of people, and inflict damage on the natural environment - air, water and land. Especially tragic is the situation in the Middle East, above all in Iraq and Syria. Everyone suffers the consequences of these conflicts, and the humanitarian situation is unbearable. I think of so many children, the sufferings of so many mothers, of the elderly, of those displaced and of all refugees, subject to every form of violence. Particular concern arises from the fact that, owing mainly to an extremist and fundamentalist group, entire communities, especially - though not exclusively - Christians and Yazidis, have suffered and continue to suffer barbaric violence simply because of their ethnic and religious identity. They have been forcibly evicted from their homes, and have had to leave behind everything to save their lives and preserve their faith. This violence has also brought damage to sacred buildings, monuments, religious symbols and cultural patrimony, as if trying to erase every trace, every memory of the other.
    "As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights. Human life, a gift of God the Creator, possesses a sacred character. As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace. The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences".
    However, as well as denouncing such situations, he added, "we must also work together to find adequate solutions. This requires the cooperation of all: governments, political and religious leaders, representatives of civil society, and all men and women of goodwill. In a unique way, religious leaders can offer a vital contribution by expressing the values of their respective traditions. We, Muslims and Christians, are the bearers of spiritual treasures of inestimable worth. Among these we recognise some shared elements, though lived according to the traditions of each, such as the adoration of the All-Merciful God, reference to the Patriarch Abraham, prayer, almsgiving, and fasting - elements which, when lived sincerely, can transform life and provide a sure foundation for dignity and fraternity. Recognising and developing our common spiritual heritage - through interreligious dialogue - helps us to promote and to uphold moral values, peace and freedom in society. The shared recognition of the sanctity of each human life is the basis of joint initiatives of solidarity, compassion, and effective help directed to those who suffer most. In this regard, I wish to express my appreciation for everything that the Turkish people, Muslims and Christians alike, are doing to help the hundreds of thousands of people who are fleeing their countries due to conflicts. There are two million of them. This is a clear example of how we can work together to serve others, an example to be encouraged and maintained".
    In this regard, the Holy Father expressed his satisfaction at the good relations between the Diyanet and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. "It is my earnest desire that these relations will continue and be strengthened for the good of all, so that every initiative which promotes authentic dialogue will offer a sign of hope to a world so greatly in need of peace, security and prosperity. Following my meeting with the president, I am also hopeful that this interreligious dialogue will take on creative new forms".
    He concluded by thanking again the president of the Diyanet and his collaborators for this meeting, and expressed his gratitude to all present for their presence and their prayers for him and his ministry. "For my part, I assure you of my prayers. May the Lord grant us all his blessing".
    Following the encounter, the Pope transferred to the apostolic nunciature, where he spent the night.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis visits the Museum of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque
    Vatican City, 29 November 2014 (VIS) - This morning, Pope Francis travelled by air from Ankara to Istanbul. The only city in the world divided across two continents, Asia and Europe, it is situated on the banks of the Bosphorus, the river that connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Upon arrival he was welcomed by the Governor of Istanbul and by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I, and then transferred by car to the Blue Mosque, or the Mosque of the Sultan Ahmed.
    Built between 1609 and 1917 by Ahmed I on what had been the site of the great palace of Constantinople, the mosque became the most important place of worship of the Ottoman Empire. The name "Blue Mosque" derives from the 21,043 turquoise ceramic tiles adorning the walls and the dome. The ceramics used to cover the walls, columns and arches originated from Iznik in ancient Nicaea, and range in colour from deep blue to green. Benedict XVI visited the mosque during his trip to Turkey in 2006. Pope Francis was received by the Grand Mufti and remained a moment in silent prayer.
    The Holy Father then proceeded to the Museum of Hagia Sophia, the basilica dedicated to Divine Wisdom, first built in the year 360 by the emperor Constantine on a site previously occupied by pagan temples. It was later destroyed by two fires, one in 404 and another in 532, and the emperor Justinian undertook its reconstruction in order to make it into "the most sumptuous work since the time of Creation", ordering all the provinces of the empire to provide their best marble and most prized materials. Hagia Sophia was inaugurated for the third time in 537. During the conquest of Constantinople in 1204, it was despoiled of its richest adornments by Latin Christians and in 1453, when it fell into the hands of the Ottomans, Mehmet II ordered it to be transformed into the first imperial mosque of Istanbul. During the subsequent three centuries, this Muslim place of worship received splendid gifts from various sultans, until the eighteenth century, when the mosaics were covered with plaster. In 1847 the Sultan Abdulmegid engaged the Swiss architects Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati to uncover the mosaics and restore the building. In 1935, at the behest of Ataturk, Hagia Sophia became a museum, which it remains to this day. Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI all visited it during their trips to Turkey.
    Pope Francis was received at the Imperial Door by the director of the Museum, who accompanied him on a guided tour lasting around half an hour. The Holy Father signed the guest book of Hagia Sophia, first in Greek with the phrase ???a ????a s?t Te?? (Holy Wisdom of God) and then in Latin: "Quam dilecta tabernacula tua Domine (Psalm 38).
    After leaving Hagia Sophia through the Beautiful Gate, Francis proceeded to the papal representation where he was awaited by members of the Catholic communities (Latin, Armenian, Syrian and Chaldean) of Istanbul, and where he was greeted by the president of the Episcopal Conference of Turkey, Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini, O.F.M. Cap.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Schonborn, Pope's special envoy in Kiev
    Vatican City, 29 November 2014 (VIS) - In a letter published today, written in Latin and dated 18 November, the Holy Father nominated Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, as his special envoy at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine, scheduled to take place in Kiev on 10 December 2014.
    The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Rev. Yurij Kolasa, vicar for Greek-Catholics in Austria, and Rev. Ihor Sfiaban, head of the Ecumenical Commission of the Curia of the Major Archbishop.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Dec 1 09:00:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 213
    DATE 01-12-2014

    Summary:
    - To the Swiss Bishops' Conference: safeguard your country's long Christian tradition
    - The Pope speaks to the press on the return flight to Rome
    - Francis denounces the degrading living conditions of many refugees
    - Pope Francis' prayer intentions for December
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the Swiss Bishops' Conference: safeguard your country's long Christian tradition
    Vatican City, 1 December 2014 (VIS) - This morning Pope Francis received the prelates of the Swiss Bishops' Conference at the end of their five-yearly "ad Limina" visit and handed them the text of the discourse he had prepared in advance, in which he referred to the country's long Christian tradition and the responsibility of prelates to keep faith strong. "Without living faith in the risen Christ, your beautiful churches and monasteries will gradually transform into museums; all the commendable works and institutions lose their soul, leaving behind only empty spaces and abandoned people", he writes. "The mission that has been entrusted to you is to nurture your flock, proceeding in accordance with current circumstances. ... The People of God cannot exist without their pastors, bishops and priests; the Lord has given the Church the gift of the apostolic succession in the service of the unity of faith and its full transmission".
    In this way, the Pope encourages them to continue their efforts in the formation of the seminarians, which constitutes the challenge for the future of the Church, and invites them to pay attention to their priests, especially in the case of estrangement or when the meaning of episcopal paternity appears to be forgotten. "A humble, honest and fraternal dialogue often enables a new beginning", he writes. Similarly, he urges the bishops to acknowledge the support and efforts of the laity, differentiating between the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood. He encourages them to continue in the formation of the baptised regarding the truths of faith and their importance to liturgy, the parish, family and life, and to carefully select personnel to permit the laity to be truly integrated in and to take their rightful place in the Church.
    The Holy Father mentions that the Church was born in Pentecost when the apostles went out and spoke in all languages thus reaching all mankind through the power of the Holy Spirit, and he recalls the Redeemer's invitation to preach the Gospel to all, proclaiming the Good News without bending to the whims of man. Finally, he imparts his apostolic blessing and expresses his hope that they may continue to cultivate God's field with diligence and patience, maintaining their passion for the truth, and he encourages them to entrust the future of evangelisation in their country to the Virgin Mary and to the intercession of St. Nicolas de Flue, St. Maurice, and their companions.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope speaks to the press on the return flight to Rome
    Vatican City, 1 December 2014 (VIS) - Yesterday, as is his custom, Pope Francis spoke with the journalists accompanying him on the return flight from Istanbul to Rome. The questions touched mostly on the themes of relations between Islam and Christianity, and ecumenism.
    The Holy Father affirmed that the Qu'ran is a book of peace and that Islam cannot be equated with terrorism; however, he remarked, it is necessary for Muslim political, religious and academic leaders to condemn terrorist attacks so that the people may hear this directly from such figures. He also revealed that in the Blue Mosque, he prayed above all for peace. Referring later on to so-called "Christianophobia" or anti-Christian sentiment, as opposed to "Islamophobia", he underlined that today there are many Christian martyrs among the populations of the Middle East, and he mentioned those compelled to leave their homes. This martyrdom has been the fate of faithful of different Christian confessions and has given rise to an "ecumenism of blood".
    With regard to the Middle East, he spoke about the situation in Syria, condemning the traffic and sale of arms, and reiterated that behind every war there are always political and economic problems and commercial interests, in attempts to save a system that accords centrality to the god of money, rather than human beings. The Pope observed that it seems to him we are experiencing a third world war, fragmented and dispersed in various places, and expressed his wish to go to Iraq, although he remarked that at the moment it would not be possible since it would create important problems for the authorities and difficulties regarding security. Francis revealed that he considers the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border to be a very important issue, but is aware that there are political issues that make this difficult, and he invited prayer to contribute to making this opening possible.
    The Pope focused closely on the question of ecumenism, commenting that it is a path that must be followed together and stressing the importance of spiritual ecumenism - praying, working and carrying out charitable works together. He added that with orthodoxy, this joint path is proving successful thanks to the sacraments and the apostolic succession, and that it will be fundamental to provide an answer to the question posed by John Paul II when he asked the Orthodox to help arrive at a formula for primacy acceptable to these Churches. He also expressed his wish to go to Moscow in order to meet with the Patriarch Kiril, but not at the moment due to the pressing problems in Ukraine. Again in relation to ecumenism, he stressed that when the Church looks inwardly to herself rather than at Christ, when she believes herself to be a creator of light rather than a bringer of light, she creates divisions. Finally, he remarked on the desire of Christians to be able to celebrate Easter on the same date.
    One of the final questions related to the recent Synod of Bishops, and the Holy Father affirmed that the Synod is a path and a process, and therefore a person's opinion or a draft document cannot be given consideration. Nor is the Synod a parliament, but rather a protected space where one may let the voice of the Spirit be heard.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis denounces the degrading living conditions of many refugees
    Vatican City, 30 November 2014 (VIS) - Pope Francis chose to conclude his final day in Turkey by meeting a group of around a hundred refugees and asylum seekers. Christians and Muslims, they were mostly from Iraq and Syria, although some were from other countries in the Middle East and Africa, and have been assisted for some time by the Salesian community in Istanbul. The meeting took place in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.
    "I wish to assure you that I share your sufferings; I hope my visit, by the grace of God, may offer you some consolation in your difficult situation", said the Pope. "Yours is the sad consequence of brutal conflicts and war, which are always evils and which never solve problems. Rather, they only create new ones".
    He emphasised the difficulty of the living conditions of refugees, who often find themselves deprived, sometimes for long periods, of "basic needs such as a dignified home, healthcare, education and work. They have had to abandon not only their material possessions, but above all their freedom, closeness to family, their homeland and cultural traditions. The degrading conditions in which so many refugees are forced to live are intolerable! For this reason, we must do everything possible to eradicate the causes of this situation. I appeal for greater international cooperation to resolve the conflicts which are causing bloodshed in your homelands, to counter the other causes which are driving people to leave their home countries, and to improve conditions so that people may remain or return home. I encourage all who are working generously and steadfastly for justice and peace not to lose heart. I ask political leaders to always remember that the great majority of their people long for peace, even if at times they lack the strength and voice to demand it".
    The Holy Father praised the work of many organisations in aid of refugees, including numerous Catholic groups "which offer generous aid to many in need without discriminating. I wish also to express deep gratitude to the Turkish authorities for the great efforts they have made in assisting the displaced, in particular Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and for the authorities' tangible commitment in trying to meet their needs. I hope that the necessary support of the international community may not be lacking".
    He offered some words of encouragement to the young people present. "It is easy to say this, but please make an effort not to be discouraged. With the help of God, continue to hope in a better future, despite the difficulties and obstacles which you are currently facing. The Catholic Church is with you, including through the invaluable work of the Salesians. The Church, in addition to other forms of help, also offers you the opportunity to see to your education and formation. Remember always that God does not forget any of his children, and that those who are the smallest and who suffer the most are closest to the Father's heart".
    "For my part, together with the whole Church, I will continue to pray to the Lord, asking him to inspire those in leadership, so that they will not hesitate to promote justice, security and peace and do so in ways that are clear and effective", he concluded. "Through her social and charitable organisations, the Church will remain at your side and will continue to hold up your cause before the world. May God bless you all! Please pray for me. Thank you!"
    Following the meeting, the Pope proceeded to the hospital to visit the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Mesrob II, who was admitted some years ago and remains in a coma. He subsequently went to Ataturk Airport where, after farewell greetings with the local civil and religious authorities, he departed for Rome. The aircraft carrying the Holy Father landed at 6.40 p.m. Before returning to the Vatican, he stopped in the Basilica of St. Mary Major to commend the fruits of his apostolic trip in Turkey to the Virgin.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' prayer intentions for December
    Vatican City, 1 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for December is: "That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will".
    His intention for evangelisation is: "That parents may be true evangelisers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 1 December 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, apostolic nuncio in the Dominican Republic and apostolic delegate in Porto Rico;
    - Archbishop Jean-Marie Speich, apostolic nuncio in Ghana;
    - Marco Vinicio Vargas Pereira, new ambassador of Costa Rica to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters;
    - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church;
    - Archbishop Stephan Burger of Freiburg im Breisgau, Federal Republic of Germany;
    - Thirteen prelates of the Swiss Bishops' Conference, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Bishop Felix Gmur of Basel, with his auxiliaries, Bishop Martin Gachter and Bishop Denis Theurillat;
    - Bishop Vitus Huonder of Chur, with his auxiliary Bishop Marian Eleganti;
    - Bishop Charles Morerod, O.P., of Lausanne, Geneve et Fribourg, with his auxiliaries, Bishop Pierre Farine and Bishop Alain de Raemy;
    - Bishop Valerio Lazzeri of Lugano;
    - Bishop Markus Buchel of Sankt Gallen;
    - Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey, C.R.B. of Sion;
    - Fr. Urban Federer, O.S.B., abbot of Maria Einsiedeln, and
    - Bishop Joseph Roduit, abbot of Saint-Maurice.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 1 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mocoa-Sibundoy, Colombia, presented by Bishop Luis Alberto Parra Mora, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Dec 2 08:36:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 214
    DATE 02-12-2014

    Summary:
    - Religious leaders gathered in the Vatican for the eradication of modern slavery
    - Declaration of religious leaders for the eradication of slavery

    ___________________________________________________________

    Religious leaders gathered in the Vatican for the eradication of modern slavery
    Vatican City, 2 December 2014 (VIS) - For the first time in history, the leaders of the world's major religions gathered together in the Vatican this morning with the aim of eliminating modern slavery. Today, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, a ceremony was held in the seat of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences in the Vatican's Casina Pio IV for the signing of the Declaration of Religious Leaders against Slavery. This solemn act follows the agreement signed of 17 March in the Vatican, established by the Global Freedom Network to eradicate, by 2020, modern forms of slavery and human trafficking. The Declaration was signed by Pope Francis, along with eminent Orthodox, Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu representatives.
    The following is the full text of Pope Francis' address, which he began by thanking all religious leaders for their commitment to assisting survivors of human trafficking, and all those present for their active participation in this act of fraternity, "especially for our brothers and sisters who suffer most".
    "Inspired by our confessions of faith, we are gathered here today for an historical initiative and to take concrete action: to declare that we will work together to eradicate the terrible scourge of modern slavery in all its forms. The physical, economic, sexual and psychological exploitation of men, women and children that is currently inflicted on tens of millions of people constitutes a form of dehumanisation and humiliation.
    "Every human being, man women, boy and girl, is made in God's image. God is the love and freedom that is given in interpersonal relationships, and every human being is a free person destined to live for the good of others in equality and fraternity. Every person, and all people, are equal and must be accorded the same freedom and the same dignity. Any discriminatory relationship that does not respect the fundamental conviction that others are equal is a crime, and frequently an aberrant crime.
    "Therefore, we declare on each and every one of our creeds that modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution, and organ trafficking, is a crime against humanity. Its victims are from all walks of life, but are most frequently among the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. On behalf of all of them, our communities of faith are called to reject, without exception, any systematic deprivation of individual freedom for the purposes of personal or commercial exploitation; in their name, we make this declaration.
    "In spite of the great efforts of many, modern slavery continues to be an atrocious scourge present on a large scale throughout the world, also as tourism; this crime is frequently concealed in apparently accepted customs but the reality is that it claims victims in prostitution, human trafficking, forced labour, slave labour, mutilation, the sale of organs, drug abuse, and child labour. It is hidden behind closed doors, in certain homes, in the streets, in cars, in factories, in fields, in fishing boats and in many other places. And it takes place in both cities and villages, in the slums of the richest and poorest nations in the world. And the worst thing is that the situation is unfortunately worsening every day.
    "Let us call to action all persons of faith and their leaders, Governments, businesses, all men and women of good will, to lend their unwavering support and to join the movement against modern slavery, in all its forms.
    "Supported by the ideals of our confessions of faith and our shared human values, we all can and must raise the standard of spiritual values, our joint efforts, our liberatory vision, to eradicate slavery from our planet. I pray that the Lord will grant us the grace to become a neighbour to all persons, without exception, and to provide active support whenever we encounter on our way an elderly person abandoned by all; an unjustly enslaved and mistreated worker; a refugee caught in the snares of crime; a young person walking the streets of the world, a victim of the sex trade; a man or a woman tricked into prostitution by people with no fear of God; a child mutilated for his or her organs, all of whom call out to our consciences, echoing the voice of the Lord: I assure you that whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
    "Dear friends, thank you for this meeting, and thank you for this joint effort that involves all of us. We are all a reflection of the image of God, and we are convinced that we cannot accept that the image of the living God be subject to the most aberrant trafficking".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration of religious leaders for the eradication of slavery
    Vatican City, 2 December 2014 (VIS) - The following is the full text of the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery
    "We, the undersigned, are gathered here today for a historic initiative to inspire spiritual and practical action by all global faiths and people of good will everywhere to eradicate modern slavery across the world by 2020 and for all time.
    "In the eyes of God*, each human being is a free person, whether girl, boy, woman or man, and is destined to exist for the good of all in equality and fraternity. Modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution, organ trafficking, and any relationship that fails to respect the fundamental conviction that all people are equal and have the same freedom and dignity, is a crime against humanity.
    "We pledge ourselves here today to do all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond, to work together for the freedom of all those who are enslaved and trafficked so that their future may be restored. Today we have the opportunity, awareness, wisdom, innovation and technology to achieve this human and moral imperative".
    *The Grand Imam of Al Azhar uses the word "religions".
    - Catholicism: Pope Francis;
    - Hinduism: Her Holiness Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma);
    - Buddhism: Venerable Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong, representing Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Thailand; Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana, Chief High Priest of Malaysia;
    - Judaism: Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Rabbi David Rosen KSG, CBE;
    - Orthodox: His Eminence Emmanuel, Metropolitan of France, representing the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I;
    - Islam: Abbas Abdalla Abbas Soliman, undersecretary of State of Al Azhar Alsharif, representing Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar; the Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi; Sheikh Naziyah Razzaq Jaafar, special advisor, representing Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Basheer Hussain al Najafi; Sheikh Omar Abboud;
    - Anglicanism: His Grace Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Dec 3 08:24:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 215
    DATE 03-12-2014

    Summary:
    - General audience: Francis' trip to Turkey
    - Declaration by the Director of the Holy See Press Office
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: Francis' trip to Turkey
    Vatican City, 3 December 2014 (VIS) - Pope Francis dedicated the catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience to his recent visit to Turkey, a land dear to many Christians for being the birthplace of the apostle Paul, hosting the first seven councils, and for the presence, near Ephesus, of the "House of Mary". In the same way as he asked the faithful, before his journey, to accompany him in prayer, today he asked them to give thanks to the Lord for the success of the trip and to pray that it might bear the fruit of dialogue in our relationship with our Orthodox and Muslim brothers, and in the path towards peace among peoples.
    Francis spoke first of his meeting with the authorities on Friday 29, thanking them for the care and respect with which they greeted him. In a constitutionally secular country with a Muslim majority, the Pope noted that it is oblivion to God and not His glorification that engenders violence, and insisted before the leaders of the nation on the importance of concerted efforts between Christians and Muslims for solidarity, peace and justice, reaffirming the need for States to guarantee real freedom of worship to citizens and religious communities.
    On the second day, the Pope visited the Museum of Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, highly symbolic places for the different religions that co-exist in Turkey. "I did so, feeling within my heart the wish to invoke the Lord, God of Heaven and Earth, merciful Father of all humanity". The central event of the day was the Mass held in the Cathedral, attended by pastors and faithful of the various Catholic rites in Turkey, along with representatives of other confessions, to invoke together the Holy Spirit, "who builds the unity of the Church: unity in faith, unity in charity, unity in internal cohesion", so that the People of God, "in the richness of their traditions", may grow in openness and obedience to His divine action".
    The feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, patron of the Church of Constantinople, on 30 November, offered the ideal context for consolidating the fraternal relations between the Bishop of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I, who renewed their joint commitment to the path of re-establishing full communion between Catholics and Orthodox, and signed a Joint Declaration which represents a significant step along the way. Francis expressed his joy at having participated in the Divine Liturgy and for the dual blessing imparted by the Pope and the Patriarch at the end. "Prayer is the foundation of any fruitful ecumenical dialogue under the guidance of the Holy Spirit".
    The Holy Father's final meeting, of which he spoke with emotion, was with a group of young refugees from the war zones of the Middle East, under the care of the Salesians. "It was very important for me to meet them", he said, "both to express my closeness and that of the Church, and to highlight the importance of hospitality; a value to which Turkey is committed". The Pope again thanked the country for its work in this field, praised the Salesians for their work with the young refugees, and concluded by again asking all those present to pray for refugees and internally displaced people, and for the removal of the causes of this "painful scourge".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration by the Director of the Holy See Press Office
    Vatican City, 3 December 2014 (VIS) - The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., answered questions posed by journalists late yesterday afternoon on the situation regarding the ex-nuncio Msgr. Wesolowski.
    "This morning, the Promoter of Justice of the Tribunal of Vatican City State, Professor Gian Piero Milano, met with the Attorney General of the Dominican Republic, Francisco Dominguez Brito, upon request by this latter, during a trip in Europe to make contacts in Poland and the Vatican. The meeting took place within a broader context of international level cooperation amongst the investigative bodies engaged in the proceedings against Msgr. Wesolowski and the related investigations in progress, and it was useful for both parties given the complexity of the enquiry and the possibility of a letter rogatory from the Vatican to request further elements.
    Meanwhile, regarding the situation of Msgr. Wesolowski, I am able to state that the Magistrature of Vatican City State, continuing its investigations, has already questioned the defendant, and future rounds of questioning will take place. As the custody time limit has lapsed, and in view of his state of health, Msgr. Wesolowski has been permitted a certain freedom of movement, but is obliged to remain within the State and is subject to appropriate restrictions on external communications".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 3 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Rev. Ivan Pereira as bishop of Jammu-Srinagar (area 222,236, population 13,849,892, Catholics 18,161, priests 61, religious 214), India. The bishop-elect was born in Vasai, India in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a B.A. in education and a Master's degree in English, and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including parish vicar in Jammu; parish priest in various parishes, including the Cathedral and "Our Lady of Fatima", Srinagar; rector of St. Paul's minor seminary, Akalpur, Jammu; secretary of the Regional Catholic Council of North India; and president of the Regional Conference of Diocesan Priests, North India. He is currently director of the Diocesan Education Board of the diocese of Jammu-Srinagar and principal of the Burn Hall Higher Secondary School, Srinagar. He succeeds Bishop Peter Celestine Elampassery, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father, upon having reached the age limit.
    - appointed Bishop Odelir Jose Magri, M.C.C.J., of Sobral, Brazil, as bishop of Chapeco (area 15,663, population 772,000, Catholics 635,000, priests 85, religious 223), Brazil.
    - appointed Bishop Zanoni Demettino Castro of Sao Mateus as coadjutor archbishop of Feira de Santana (area 6,730, population 963,000, Catholics 895,000, priests 73, permanent deacons 9, religious 157), Brazil.
    - appointed Bishop Waldemar Passini Dalbello, auxiliary of Goiania, Brazil, as coadjutor bishop of Luziania (area 16,424, population 776,000, Catholics 624,000, priests 55, permanent deacons 4, religious 100), Brazil.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Dec 4 08:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 216
    DATE 04-12-2014

    Summary:
    - Audience with the President of Mozambique: Church's fundamental contribution to development
    - Francis receives the volunteers of the FOCSIV
    - St. Peter's Square prepares for Christmas
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________


    Audience with the President of Mozambique: Church's fundamental contribution to development

    Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Republic of Mozambique, Armando Emilio Guebuza, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under secretary for Relations with States.

    During the cordial discussions the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Mozambique were highlighted. In this context, reference was made to the fundamental contribution of the Catholic Church to the development of the country through her educational and healthcare institutions, and her important role in the promotion of peace and national reconciliation.

    Finally, attention turned to various regional challenges, such as disarmament and the struggle against poverty and social inequality.

    ___________________________________________________________


    Francis receives the volunteers of the FOCSIV

    Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) - The image of a Church at work in the service of those in difficulty is promoted by the Federation of Christian Organisations for International Volunteer Service (FOCSIV), which seeks to combine the accumulated experience of its members with the dimension of voluntary service to the poor in the style of the good Samaritan and according to Gospel values. Starting from their Christian identity, they are "volunteers in the world", offering many development projects to offer concrete responses to the "scandals" of hunger and war. Pope Francis emphasised these characteristics in his address to two thousand members of the federation in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall this morning.

    "Your work alongside men and women in difficulty is a living announcement of the tenderness of Christ, Who walks alongside humanity in all times", affirmed the Pope. "There is a great need to bear witness to the value of gratuity: the poor must not become an opportunity for profit! The face of poverty is changing nowadays, and there are those among the poor who are developing different expectations: they aspire to be protagonists, they are organised, and above all they practise that solidarity that exists between those who suffer, between those who are left behind. You are called upon to perceive these signs of the times and to become an instrument of service to assist in enabling leadership among the poor. Solidarity with the poor means thinking in terms of community, of the priority of the life of all above the appropriation of goods by the few. It also means combating the structural causes of poverty: inequality, unemployment and homelessness, and the denial of social and working rights. Solidarity is a way of making history with the poor, avoiding supposedly altruistic works that reduce others to passivity".

    Among the main causes of poverty, Francis did not neglect to mention the existence of an economic system that exploits natural resources. "I think in particular of deforestation, but also of environmental disasters and the loss of biodiversity. It is necessary to reaffirm that creation is not property from which we can derive pleasure and dispose of as we please, and much less the property of just a few. Creation is a marvellous gift that God has given us for us to take care of and use for the benefit of all, with respect. I therefore encourage you to continue in your commitment to ensuring that creation remains the patrimony of all, to be handed on in all its beauty to future generations".

    Many of the countries where the FOCSIV works are at war, and the Pope emphasised that working for the development of the people also means cooperating in building peace, "seeking with tenacious perseverance to disarm minds, to draw closer to people, to build bridges between cultures and religions. Faith will help you to do this even in the most difficult countries, where the spiral of violence no longer seems to leave space for reason. A sign of peace and hope is your activity in refugee camps, where you encounter desperate people, faces marked by abuse, children who hunger for food, freedom and a future. How many people in the world flee from the horrors of war! How many people are persecuted for their faith, forced to abandon their homes, their places of worship, their homelands, their loved ones! How many broken lives! How much suffering, how much destruction! Faced with all of this, a disciple of Christ cannot step or turn away, but instead seeks to take care of this suffering humanity with evangelical closeness and acceptance".

    The Pope reiterated his concerns for migrants and refugees, who "seek to flee from hard living conditions and dangers of every type", and insisted on the need for collaboration between "institutions, NGOs and ecclesial communities, to promote itineraries of harmonious co-existence between different peoples and cultures. "Migratory movements require adequate forms of reception that do not leave migrants at the mercy of the sea and bands of unscrupulous traffickers. At the same time, there is a need for active collaboration between States to regulate and effectively manage such phenomena".

    Finally, Francis thanked the volunteers of the Federation who, for more than forty years, have shown themselves to be "true witnesses of charity, workers of peace, builders of justice and solidarity", and, encouraging them to continue in their progress, he invited them to find time each day for a personal encounter with God in prayer. "It will be your strength in moments of greatest difficulty, disappointment, solitude and incomprehension".

    ___________________________________________________________


    St. Peter's Square prepares for Christmas

    Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) - The 25 and a half metre-tall white fir tree that will decorate St. Peter's Square this Christmas arrived in the Vatican this morning. From Passo dell'Abbate, in the Italian province of Fabrizia, Calabria, its peculiar characteristic is its double or "twin" trunk: two trunks joined together as one.

    The ceremony of the lighting of the tree will take place on 19 December at 4.30 p.m. and will coincide this year with the illumination and unveiling of the nativity scene. Entitled "Il Presepe in Opera" ("The Nativity Scene in Opera") and composed of around 25 life-size terracotta statues, it is a gift from the "Verona for the Arena" Foundation and will be inspired by the operatic works for which the city is famed, with the intention of promoting Italian opera throughout the world. This also provides the basis for the title of the display, which is a play on the double meaning of the word "opera" in Italian: it is "at work", in the sense that its message is universal and active, and also based on the material used to stage the operatic work "The Elixir of Love" by Gaetano Donizetti.

    ___________________________________________________________


    Audiences

    Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

    - Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop emeritus of Turin;

    - Archbishop Michael W. Banach, apostolic nuncio in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands;

    - Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio in Brazil;

    - Juan Pablo Cafiero, ambassador of Argentina to the Holy See, on his farewell visit.

    ___________________________________________________________


    Other Pontifical Acts

    Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Patrick Michael O'Regan as bishop of Sale (area 44,441, population 405,000, Catholics 120,340, priests 39, permanent deacons 5, religious 34), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He holds a licentiate in liturgy and sacramental theology from the Institut Catholique, Paris, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including deputy parish priest in Lithgow, Cowra and Orange, vice dean of the Cathedral of Bathurst, parish priest in Wellington and Layney, diocesan administrator and chancellor of the diocese of Bathurst. He is currently dean of the Cathedral and vicar general of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Dec 5 08:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 217
    DATE 05-12-2014

    Summary:
    - The Pope reminds the Theological Commission of the importance of listening to the People of God
    - The family, special home of solidarity
    - Pope's message to the Santa Marta Group in London against human trafficking
    - Peace, central theme of the Advent sermons in the Redemptoris Mater chapel
    - Fr. Lombardi's response to questions on Cardinal George Pell's article in "Catholic Herald"
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope reminds the Theological Commission of the importance of listening to the People of God
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the members of the International Theological Commission (CIT), whose president is Cardinal Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Commission was established shortly after Vatican Council II following the request by the Synod of Bishops in order to enable the Holy See to make more direct use of the reflection of theologians from various parts of the world. The mission of the Commission is therefore that of "examining doctrinal questions of major importance", especially those that present new aspects and, in this way, of offering assistance to the Magisterium of the Church.
    This mission, as Francis remarked, presupposes not only intellectual competences but also spiritual dispositions; among the latter, the Pope focused in particular on listening. He cited the passage from Ezekiel: "Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you", emphasising that "the theologian is, above all, a believer who listens to the living Word of God and welcomes it into his heart and mind ... but he must also humbly listen to what the Spirit tells the Church through the different manifestations of faith lived by the People of God".
    Indeed, this activity is mentioned in the recent document of the Commission on "The sensus fide in the life of the Church". The Pope continued, "Along with the Christian people, the theologian opens his eyes and ears to the signs of the times. He or she is required to "hear, distinguish and interpret the many voices of our age, and to judge them in the light of the divine word, so that revealed truth can always be more deeply penetrated, better understood and set forth to greater advantage".
    In this light, the Pope expressed his satisfaction at the increasingly diverse composition of the Commission, in particular the presence of women, "a presence that is an invitation to reflect on the role that women can and should occupy in the field of theology", and the contribution that they bring to "the intelligence of faith".
    Another aspect of the Commission is its international character, which reflects "the Catholicity of the Church". Therefore, "the diversity of points of view must enrich Catholicity without prejudice to unity", since "the unity of Catholic theologians derives from their common reference to a single faith in Christ and is nurtured by the diversity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit". "Starting from this foundation in a healthy pluralism, various theological approaches, developed in different cultural contexts and using different methods, cannot ignore each other, but must enrich and correct each other in theological dialogue".
    The Holy Father commented that "the Virgin is a teacher of authentic theology" since, as a "privileged witness to the great events of salvation history", she "treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart". "Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and with all the resources of her female wisdom, she never ceased to further enter into 'all the truth'. Mary is therefore the icon of the Church who, anxiously awaiting her Lord, progresses day after day in the intelligence of faith, thanks to the patient work of theologians, male and female".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The family, special home of solidarity
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - "The future of humanity depends upon the family, and it is therefore necessary to allow it to play its role", writes the Pope in his message to the participants in the Festival of the Family, taking place in Riva del Garda, Italy, on the theme "The Life and Work Ecosystem". "But", he adds, "it is not enough to reiterate the importance of the family and to affirm its rights: it is necessary to consider how the tasks of the family and of society can be structured in real terms, especially with regard to the relationship between professional life and family life".
    The family has its own mission, in the service of its members, its development, and life; it has rights and therefore needs support and guarantees to be able to exercise them. On the other hand, the family also has a duty to society; it must offer its collaboration in the service of the community. It is a privileged environment for the harmonious practice of solidarity and subsidiarity, or rather a synergy between public and private, enterprise and families. Precisely on account of the effort and responsibility required to raise and educate children, families need appropriate assistance from public agencies and companies, in the context of mutual collaboration. The worrying demographic trend requires an extraordinary and courageous strategy, on the part of all interested parties, in favour of families. This may also give rise to an economic recovery for the country. In this regard, the crisis of unemployment, especially amongst the young, must be addressed and resolved".
    The Pope goes on to write about policy in relation to families, the social and legal status of the family in general, the assistance that should be offered to those who are materially or morally disadvantaged, and the attention that should be given to female work. "We must ensure that women are not, for economic reasons, compelled to undertake too heavy a burden or accept excessive working hours, which are then added to all their responsibilities in housekeeping and raising children. But above all, it is necessary to recognise that women's work, at all levels of family life, also constitutes an unparalleled contribution to the family and the future of society".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's message to the Santa Marta Group in London against human trafficking
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - The Pope has sent a message to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster and president of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales on the occasion of the Second Conference of the Santa Marta Group, taking place in London, United Kingdom, on 5 and 6 December.
    The Santa Marta Group - whose name derives from the Holy Father's residence, where the members stayed during their first conference held in the Vatican last April - is composed of High Commissioners of international police forces and bishops from around the world who, along with members of civil society, are working together to prevent and eradicate human trafficking, and to help victims. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, London, and Cardinal Nichols are the co-presidents of the group.
    Francis expressed his deep gratitude to all present for their resolve in combating this evil and for your commitment to carry on the work begun at the conference held in the Vatican in April of this year. "Your labours to promote ongoing dialogue on the legal remedies to human trafficking and on the essential care of those who suffer this enslavement are especially important because of the hidden nature of this crime. We must never forget, nor may we ignore, the suffering of so many men, women and children whose human dignity is violated through this exploitation".
    He went on to thank the Home Secretary of the British government, the Metropolitan Commissioner of Police, and the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales for organising the event and the delegates "who demonstrate anew their commitment by their participation in this initiative. In assuring you that the Church remains steadfast in her pledge to combat human trafficking and to care for victims of this scourge, I offer the promise of my prayers that Almighty God may bless and guide your efforts".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Peace, central theme of the Advent sermons in the Redemptoris Mater chapel
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - This morning in the Redemptoris Mater chapel the Holy Father attended the first sermon of Advent, pronounced by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., preacher of the Papal Household. The theme was "Peace on earth to humanity, loved by the Lord", based on the Gospel of St. Luke.
    Peace, as Fr. Cantalamessa explained to L'Osservatore Romano, was selected as the theme in part due to its tragic current relevance and also to restore to the word the richness of its meaning as it is used in the Bible.
    Today's sermon was dedicated to peace as a gift from the Lord Jesus Christ, for as the Preacher of the Papal Household remarked, "the Word of God teaches us that the primary and most important form of peace , is vertical - that is, between God and humanity".
    The sermon of 12 December will focus on peace as a task that requires work, with reference to the phrase from the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the peacemakers". The third meditation will be on peace as a fruit of the Spirit, or rather the inner peace of the soul.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Fr. Lombardi's response to questions on Cardinal George Pell's article in "Catholic Herald"
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., today issued the following declaration in response to requests for clarification regarding an article by Cardinal George Pell published in the Catholic Herald.
    "It should be observed that Cardinal Pell has not referred to illegal, illicit or poorly administered funds, but rather funds that do not appear on the official balance sheets of the Holy See or of Vatican City State, and which have become known to the Secretariat for the Economy during the current process of examination and revision of Vatican administration, to acquire a more comprehensive knowledge of the latter in view of the planned rationalisation. It is indeed a sign and result of constructive cooperation between the various Vatican institutions.
    "Moreover, it was known and had been previously explained, also publicly by the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, that the consolidated balance sheets of the Holy See and Vatican City State, presented every year to the College of Cardinals, do not in any way encompass the totality of the numerous administrations under Vatican auspices, but only the main institutions of the Roman Curia and the State".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
    - Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations at Specialised Institutions in Geneva and at the World Trade Organisation; Holy See Representative at the International Organisation for Migration;
    - Salvatore Martinez, president of Renewal in the Holy Spirit in Italy;
    - Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Joseph Obanyi Sagwe as bishop of Kakamega (area 3,517, population 2,744,000, Catholics 696,138, priests 92, religious 410), Kenya. The bishop-elect was born in Kebiro, Kenya in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He studied at the Pontifical Lateran University and has served as parish vicar and diocesan coordinator for pastoral ministry in the diocese of Kisii, Kenya. He is currently parish priest of the Cathedral and vicar general of the same diocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Dec 15 02:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 220
    DATE 11-12-2014

    Summary:
    - Consistory for the creation of new cardinals in February 2015
    - 20th Conference on Climate Change: solidarity, encounter and dialogue to protect the planet
    - To the participants in the 4th European Congress on youth pastoral ministry: "Your task is to sow, but only God can make the seeds grow"
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    Consistory for the creation of new cardinals in February 2015
    Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) - A press conference was held today during which the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced the Holy Father's wish to convene a Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on 14 and 15 February 2015. He also announced two other important appointments: a meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Roman Curia (9 to 11 February) and a meeting of the College of Cardinals (12 to 13 February) to discuss matters relating to the reorganisation of the Holy See.

    ___________________________________________________________

    20th Conference on Climate Change: solidarity, encounter and dialogue to protect the planet
    Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a message to Manuel Pugal Vidal, minister for the environment of the Republic of Peru and president of the 20th Conference of States Party to the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change, held in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December. The Pope assured the organisers and participants of his closeness and encouragement "so that your work may be carried out during these days with an open and generous spirit", and he remarked that the current debate affects all of humanity, in particular the poorest and future generations. "It is a grave ethical and moral responsibility".
    "The consequences of environmental change, which are already dramatically felt in many states, especially the islands of the Pacific, remind us of the grave consequences of mismanagement and inaction. The time for seeking global solutions is running out. We can find suitable solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There exists, however, a clear, definitive and unpostponable ethical imperative to act". Pope Francis thus emphasised that an "effective battle against global warming will be possible only through a responsible collective response that sets aside particular interests and behaviours and develops free from political and economic pressures. A collective response that is also capable of overcoming distrust and promoting a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue; capable of demonstrating our responsibility for protecting the planet and the human family".
    Finally, before imparting his blessing to all the participants and the citizens of the countries represented, the Pontiff expressed his wish that this Conference and subsequent meetings on climate change put into effect "a dialogue imbued with ... the values of justice, respect and equality", and give rise to fruitful decisions and initiatives, in the service of all humanity.

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the participants in the 4th European Congress on youth pastoral ministry: "Your task is to sow, but only God can make the seeds grow"
    Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) - "Those of you who work in the field of youth pastoral ministry, carry out valuable work for the Church. The young need this service: both adults and other young people of mature faith who accompany them on their path, helping them to find the road that leads to Christ", writes the Pope in his message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to the participants in the 4th European Congress on Youth Pastoral Ministry, promoted by the same dicastery and in collaboration with the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe, held in Rome from 11 to 13 December on the theme: "A young Church, witness to the joy of the Gospel".
    "This pastoral ministry consists of walking with them, accompanying them personally in the complex and at times difficult contexts in which they are immersed", he continues. "Youth pastoral ministry must engage with the questions posed by the youth of today, and from this starting point, initiate a real and honest dialogue to bring Christ into their lives. And a true dialogue in this sense can be achieved by those who experience a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, which then overflows into their relationships with their brethren".
    The Pope acknowledges in his message that much remains to be done, and encourages the participants never to tire of announcing the Gospel, with their life and their word, since "Europe needs to rediscover it!". He also encourages them to consider the current situation of young Europeans through the eyes of Christ. "He teaches us to see not only the challenges and problems, but also to recognise the many seeds of love and hope dispersed across the continent, that has given to the Church as great number of saints, many of whom were young. Let us not forget that we are given the task of sowing, but it is God Who makes these seeds grow".
    "While you sow the Word of the Lord in this vast field that is European youth, you have the opportunity of bearing witness to the reasons for the hope that is within you, with gentleness and respect. You are able to help the young to realise that faith is not opposed to reason, and thus to accompany them as they become joyful agents for the evangelisation of their peers". Pope Francis concludes his message by remarking that "youth pastoral ministry is required to offer to the young a path of vocational discernment, to prepare them to follow Jesus on the way of conjugal and family life, or that of special consecration in the service of God's Kingdom".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience Alicia Castro, Argentine ambassador to the United Kingdom.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Dec 16 07:48:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 223
    DATE 16-12-2014

    Summary:
    - Presentation of the Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States of America
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States of America
    Vatican City, 16 December 2014 (VIS) - This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States of America.
    The speakers in the conference were Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life; Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., secretary of the same congregation; Mother M. Clare Millea, A.S.C.J., director of the Apostolic Visitation in the United States; Sister. Sharon Holland, I.H.M., president of the "Leadership Conference of Women Religious" (LCWR); Sr. Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., coordinator of the "Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious" (CMSWR), and Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., assistant to the Visitation Committee.
    Cardinal Braz de Aviz explained that the Visitation was initiated "because of our awareness that apostolic religious life in the United States is experiencing challenging times. Although we knew that any initiative of this magnitude would have its limits,we wished to gain deeper knowledge of the contributions of the women religious to the Church and society as well as those difficulties which threaten the quality of their religious life and, in some cases, the very existence of the institutes.
    "Our final report on the Apostolic Visitation is addressed to the women religious of the United States as well as to the Church's Pastors and faithful. In addition to publishing this general report, our Dicastery will send individual reports to those institutes which hosted an on-site visitation and to those institutes whose individual reports indicated areas of concern. We will also send letters of thanks to those institutes which participated in the first two phases of the Visitation. ... We are aware that the Apostolic Visitation was met with apprehension by some women religious as well as the decision, on the part of some institutes, not to collaborate fully in the process. While this was a painful disappointment for us, we use this present opportunity to express our willingness to engage in respectful and fruitful dialogue with those institutes which were not fully compliant with the Visitation process".
    The cardinal went on to remark that Pope Francis had asked the dicastery, in close collaboration with the Congregation for Bishops, to update the curial document Mutuae Relationes regarding the collaboration among bishops and religious, "in accord with the Church's resolve to foster the ecclesial communion which we all desire". He concluded by expressing his joy at Pope Francis' many recent statements about "the indispensable and unique contributions of women to society and the Church. I assure you that this Congregation is committed to collaborate in the realisation of Pope Francis' resolve that 'the feminine genius' find expression in the various settings where important decisions are made, both in the Church and in social structures. We will continue to work to see that competent women religious will be actively involved in ecclesial dialogue regarding "the possible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Church's life".
    Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M, secretary of the Congregation, then went on to present an overview of the final report. He explained that the dicasteries of the Apostolic See regularly authorise Apostolic Visitations, which involve sending one or more visitors to evaluate an ecclesiastical entity in order to assist the group in question to improve the way in which it carries out its mission in the life of the Church. "In some ways, however, this Apostolic Visitation was unprecedented. It involved 341 religious institutes of women religious which engage in apostolic ministry and which have a generalate, provincialate and/or initial formation program in the United States. Both diocesan and pontifical right institutes, to which approximately 50,000 women religious throughout the United States belong, were part of the Visitation. Each province of institutes which had more than one province in the United States was considered a separate unit, for a total of 405 entities involved in the Visitation. Our dicastery appointed a woman religious from the United States, Mother Mary Clare Millea, A.S.C.J., as Apostolic Visitator, granting her the faculties to design and carry out the Visitation. She, in turn, chose a core team of American religious who assisted her throughout the process".
    "The Visitation took place between 2009 and 2012 and was divided into four phases. In the first phase, 266 superiors general (78% of their total number)voluntarily engaged in personal dialogue with the Visitator. Subsequently, all major superiors were asked to complete a questionnaire requesting empirical data and qualitative information regarding the spiritual, community and ministerial life of the individual institutes. On-site visits were then conducted in a representative sample of 90 religious institutes, representing about half of the apostolic women religious in the United States. In the final phase of the Visitation, the Visitator submitted to our dicastery a final general report on the major issues and trends in women's religious life in the United States. While these trends cannot be presumed to apply to each of the institutes, they were significant enough to warrant mention in her report".
    "The document we are presenting today is our Congregation's response to the Vistitator's general report. Following a brief introduction, it describes the rationale and offers an overview of the Visitation process. It then briefly treats the principal issues evaluated during the Visitation process: empirical data, charism and identity, vocations and religious formation, Christ-centred prayer, community life and ministry, governance and financial stewardship, collaboration in the evangelising mission of the Church and ecclesial communion. On each of these topics, a point of reference is given in the form of a brief statement of current Church teaching on the issue being reviewed. This is followed by a summary of the Visitator's overall evaluation of the reality. The third part of each section contains the Congregation's recommendations to all religious institutes regarding that issue".
    Archbishop Rodriguez Carballo added that "any oral summary of the Apostolic Visitation during this press conference would risk impoverishing its content. The full text of the Report will be made available for consultation at: www.vatican.va, www.uisg.org, www.vidimusdominum.org, www.lcwr.org, www.cmswr.org, and www.usccb.org) and will be sent to all the participating religious institutes.
    The Visitator, Sr. M. Clare Millea, A.S.C.J., remarked that the Visit had provided many opportunities for "reflection, dialogue and communion among women religious in the United States as well as with the Church's pastors and lay faithful. Congregation leaders, including those who at first expressed resistance to this initiative, have shared that the process has yielded surprising positive results, such as honest confrontation with the transformative power of the Word of God, deep spiritual conversations with our sisters about the life, witness and message of our foundresses and founders, earnest delving into Church documents about consecrated life, increased solidarity among women religious and renewed desire to move beyond attitudes which prevent us from being in communion with one another, a wonderful outpouring of loving gratitude expressed to women religious by bishops, clergy and laypersons, which has sparked new energy and resourcefulness among us and awakened a renewed interest in the promotion of vocations to the religious life".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 16 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Samson Shukardin, O.F.M., as bishop of Hyderabad (area 137,386, population 22,309,840, Catholics 47,242, priests 30, religious 89), Pakistan. The bishop-elect was born in Hyderabad, Pakistan in 1961, gave his solemn vows in 1991 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a diploma in theology from the National Catholic Institute of Theology in Karachi and a licentiate in civil law from the Sindh Law College, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar in Gujrat, procurator of the Franciscan province, and custodian of the Franciscan Order and president of the Conference of Major Superiors in Pakistan. He is currently parish priest of the "St. Elizabeth" parish in Hyderabad, diocesan director of the Commission of Justice and Peace, and vicar general of the diocese of Hyderabad. He succeeds Bishop Max John Rodrigues, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Dec 17 08:49:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 224
    DATE 17-12-2014

    Summary:
    - General Audience: Jesus chose to come to the world as part of a family
    - Pope Francis asks for prayers for the victims of terrorist attacks
    - Completion of the Commission for the Protection of Minors
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General Audience: Jesus chose to come to the world as part of a family
    Vatican City, 17 December 2014 (VIS) - The family is the "great gift that the Lord has given to the world ever since the beginning, when he entrusted to Adam and Eve the mission of multiplying and filling the earth; the gift that Jesus confirmed and sealed in His Gospel", said the Holy Father during this Wednesday's general audience, in the first of the new cycle of catechesis dedicated to the family, which will continue throughout the coming year.
    The proximity to Christmas illuminates the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God, which opens a new chapter in the universal history of man and woman. "And this new beginning occurs within a family, in Nazareth. He could have come spectacularly, or as a warrior, an emperor... No - he came as the son of a family, in a family", he emphasised.
    God chose to be born "in a human family, that He Himself had formed. He created this family in a remote village in the outer reaches of the Roman Empire. Not in Rome, the capital of the Empire, not in a great city, but in an almost invisible and somewhat notorious periphery. This is even noted in the Gospel, almost as if it were a turn of phrase: 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'. Perhaps, in many parts of the world, we too still speak in this way when we hear the name of certain peripheral areas of large cities. And yet, it was precisely there, in the outskirts of the great Empire, that there began the most holy and good story of Jesus among mankind".
    "Jesus chose to remain in the periphery for thirty years, during which there is no mention of miracles or healing, of preaching, of crowds who run after him. In Nazareth, everything seems to happen 'normally', according to the habits of a pious and hard-working family of Israelites. ... The Gospels, in their sobriety, say nothing of Jesus' adolescence and leave this task to our affectionate imaginings. Art, literature and music have followed the path of the imagination. Certainly, it is not difficult to imagine how much mothers could learn from Mary's tender care for her Son! And how much fathers could benefit from the example of Joseph, a righteous man, who dedicated his life to supporting and defending his wife and child - is family - through difficult times. To say nothing of how much the young could be encouraged by the adolescent Jesus in understanding the necessity and beauty of cultivating their deepest vocation, and of having great dreams", he added.
    "Every Christian family - as Mary and Joseph did - must first welcome Jesus, listen to Him, speak with Him, shelter Him, protect Him, grow with Him; and in this way, make the world better. Let us make space in our heart and in our days for the Lord. This is what Mary and Joseph did, and it was not easy: how many difficulties they had to overcome! It was not a false or unreal family. The family of Nazareth calls to us to rediscover the vocation and the mission of the family, of every family. And so what happened in those thirty years in Nazareth can also happen to us: making love, not hate, normal; mutual help common, instead of indifference and hostility. It is not by chance that Nazareth means 'she who preserves', like Mary who, as the Gospel tells us, 'treasured all these things in her heart'. From then on, whenever there is a family that preserves this mystery, even if it should be at the outer reaches of the world, the mystery of the Son of God is at work. And He comes to save the world".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis asks for prayers for the victims of terrorist attacks
    Vatican City, 17 December 2014 (VIS) - The Pope, at the end of today's general audience, asked for prayers for the victims of the inhuman terrorist acts that have occurred in recent days in Yemen, Australia and Pakistan. "May the Lord receive the souls of the departed in His peace, console their families and convert the hearts of the perpetrators, whose violence does not cease even before children".
    At the end of the audience, 2,500 people danced the milonga to the sound of the bandoneon in St. Peter's Square to celebrate Pope Francis' 78th birthday. The initiative, "A tango for Francis", emerged on the social networks and, as was shown today, thousands of people joined in.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Completion of the Commission for the Protection of Minors
    Vatican City, 17 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has nominated new members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, chosen from various parts of the world, so as to allow a broad representation of different situations and cultures. The Commission therefore composed as follows:
    Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap., president
    Mons. Robert Oliver (United States), secretary
    Rev. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera (Colombia)
    Dr. Catherine Bonnet (France)
    Marie Collins (Ireland)
    Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco (Philippines)
    Prof. Sheila the Baroness Hollins (England)
    Bill Kilgallon (New Zealand)
    Sr. Kayula Gertrude Lesa, RSC (Zambia)
    Sr. Hermenegild Makoro, CPS (South Africa)
    Kathleen McCormack (Australia)
    Dr. Claudio Papale (Italy)
    Peter Saunders (England)
    Hon. Hanna Suchocka (Poland)
    Dr. Krysten Winter-Green (United States)
    Rev. Dr. Humberto Miguel Yanez, SJ (Argentina)
    Rev. Dr. Hans Zollner, SJ (Germany)
    The next plenary session of the Commission will take place, as previously stated, in the Vatican on from 6-8 February 2015.
    Brief information on members of the Commission is given below.
    Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap. (United States), archbishop of Boston, serves as the president of the Commission and is a member of the Council of Cardinals which advises Pope Francis.
    Msgr. Robert Oliver (United States) serves as the Secretary of the Commission, following many years in child protection work for the Archdiocese of Boston, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Promoter of Justice.
    Rev. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera (Colombia) is the Director of the Department of Psychology, professor of pastoral psychology in the Conciliar Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bogota, and as a parish priest.
    Dr. Catherine Bonnet (France) is a child psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and author on child sexual abuse and perinatal violence and neglect.
    Marie Collins (Ireland) is a survivor of child sexual abuse. A founder Trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation she served on the committee which drafted the Catholic Church's all-Ireland child protection policy, "Our Children Our Church."
    Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco (Philippines) is an adult and adolescent psychotherapist and pastoral counsellor for various mental health concerns including of individuals, couples, families and groups, including victims and perpetrators of abuse.
    Prof. Sheila the Baroness Hollins (England) has worked as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with children and adults with intellectual disabilities including those who have been sexually abused, and is a life peer in the House of Lords.
    Bill Kilgallon (New Zealand) is Director of the National Office for Professional Standards of the Catholic Church in New Zealand where he has lived for the last four years. Prior to that he had a long career in social work and health services in the UK.
    Sr. Kayula Gertrude Lesa, RSC (Zambia) is a development professional, trainer and author on child protection, human trafficking, refugee rights and the right to information. She served as a member of the African Forum for Church Social Teaching (AFCAST).
    Sr. Hermenegild Makoro, CPS (South Africa) is a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood in the Diocese of Mathatha in South Africa. She works as a high school teacher and for several years in the diocese as a trainer in pastoral work. After serving as an Associate Secretary General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference for six years, Sr. Hermenegild was appointed as the Secretary General of the SACBC in 2012.
    Kathleen McCormack (Australia) is a social welfare worker who served as Director of Welfare of Catholic Care in the Diocese of Wollongong for 29 years and held leadership roles in Family Services, Child Protection, Out Of Home Care and Ageing and Disability Services.
    Dr. Claudio Papale (Italy) is a canon lawyer and a civil lawyer, professor of canon law at the Pontifical Urban University, and an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
    Peter Saunders (England) was abused throughout his childhood in Wimbledon, South West London. Later in life, after earning a Business Studies degree, Peter discovered that he was one of millions who had suffered such abuse and who could not find any appropriate support. So he set up NAPAC, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, for supporting all survivors and for developing greater resources for responding to child abuse.
    Hon. Hanna Suchocka (Poland) is a professor of constitutional law and specialist in human rights at the University of Poznan, and was formerly Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and Ambassador of Poland to the Holy See.
    Dr. Krysten Winter-Green (United States) is a New Zealander with post-graduate degrees in Theology, Human Development, Social Work, Religion and Pastoral Psychology. She has served in dioceses around the world with homeless persons and those living with AIDS. Krysten's concentration in the areas of child abuse include forensics, assessment and treatment of priest/clergy offenders.
    Rev. Dr. Humberto Miguel Yanez, SJ (Argentina) is Director of the Department of Moral Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, professor of moral theology at the Gregorian and the Pontifical Urban University, and former Director of the Centre of Research and Social Action in Argentina.
    Rev. Dr. Hans Zollner, SJ (Germany) is President of the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University and Director and Professor of the Institute of Psychology. He was Chair of the organising committee for the Symposium "Towards Healing and Renewal" on sexual abuse of minors (February 2012).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 17 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Msgr. Adelar Baruffi as bishop of Cruz Alta (area 16,790, population 401,000, Catholics 321,000, priests 32, religious 50), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Garibaldi, Brazil in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He studied philosophy at the University of Caxias do Sul and theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, and holds a licentiate in theological anthropology and spiritual theology from the "Teresianum" Pontifical Theological Faculty, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including spiritual assistant, coordinator of formators and rector of the minor seminary and the preparatory course, rector of the major seminary, coordinator of diocesan presbyteral pastoral ministry, parish vicar and member of the council of presbyters and the College of Consultors. He is currently parish vicar of the "Santo Antonio" parish in Bento Goncalves.
    - Fr. Onecimo Alberton as bishop of Rio do Sul (area 8,909, population 321,000, Catholics 263,000, priests 64, religious 212), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Orleans, Brazil in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He studied philosophy at the Universidade do Sul, Tubarao, and theology at the Theological Institute of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, and has served in a number of roles, including: parish priest of the "Nossa Senhora da Natividade" parish, Cocal do Sul Criciuma; formator in the minor and major seminaries of Criciuma; rector of the "Bom Pastor" seminary, Florianopolis. He is currently parish priest of the "Sao Paulo Apostolo" parish in Criciuma. He succeeds Bishop Augustinho Petry, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Jean-Marc Eychenne as bishop of Pamiers (area 4,903, population 154,546, Catholics 107,400, priests 46, permanent deacons 13, religious 80), France. The bishop-elect was born in Pamiers, France in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1982. He holds a baccalaureate from the Faculty of Theology of Milan, and has served in a number of roles, including: master of novices of the Communaute Saint-Martin, teacher at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences and formator of seminarians at the Communaute Saint-Martin in Genoa; parish vicar of Madeleine in Orleans-Checy, parish priest in the "Saint-Yves de la Source" parish and episcopal vicar for the pastoral area of Val-de-Loire et Sologne. He is currently vicar general of Orleans, France.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Dec 19 08:13:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 227
    DATE 19-12-2014

    Summary:
    - The Nativity and the Christmas Tree are signs of light and hope
    - Francis: sport to promote friendship between peoples
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Nativity and the Christmas Tree are signs of light and hope
    Vatican City, 19 December 2014 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall the Pope received delegations from the Italian provinces of Verona and Catanzaro, which provided the Nativity scene with its terracotta figures and the Christmas tree that are decorating St. Peter's Square during the festive season this year, and which will be illuminated before the public this evening.
    "Christian values have enriched the culture, literature, music and art of your lands, and today such values continue to constitute a valuable heritage to be preserved and transmitted to future generations", he said. "The Nativity and the Christmas tree are evocative festive symbols very dear to our Christian families: they recall the mystery of the Incarnation, the only begotten Son of God, made flesh in order to save us, and the light that Jesus has brought to the world through His birth. But the creche and the tree touch the hearts of all, as they speak of fraternity, intimacy and friendship, calling to people of our time to rediscover the beauty of simplicity, sharing and solidarity. They are an invitation to unity, harmony and peace; an invitation to make room, in our personal and social life, for God, Who does not come with arrogance, imposing His power, but instead offers His omnipotent love through the fragile figure of a Child. The creche and the tree therefore bring a message of light, hope, and love".
    "The Messiah made Himself man and came among us, to dispel the shadows of error and sin, bringing His divine light to humanity. Jesus Himself says of Himself: 'I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life'. Let us follow Him, the true light, so as not to lose our way and in turn to reflect light and warmth on those who go through moments of difficulty and inner darkness".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis: sport to promote friendship between peoples
    Vatican City, 19 December 2014 (VIS) - The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) celebrates its centenary this year. This morning around five thousand managers and athletes from the Committee attended a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, after which Pope Francis addressed a brief discourse to them. "In our times sport is the home of the Church, and this meeting is the proof of this: we celebrate together your centenary, an important anniversary for Italian sport", he said.
    The Holy Father commented that for one hundred years the CONI has promoted and organised sport in Italy not only in relation to the great global event that is the Modern Olympics, but also focusing on the popular, social, educational and cultural dimensions. "It does this taking inspiration from the principles of the Olympic Charter, that places among its main aims the centrality of the person, the harmonious development of humanity, the defence of human dignity, and, moreover, the contribution to a better world, without wars or tension, educating the young through sport practised without discrimination of any type, in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play".
    "Sport has always promoted universalism characterised by fraternity and friendship among peoples, accord and peace between nations; respect, tolerance, and harmony in diversity", he added. "Every sporting event, especially Olympic ones, in which representatives of nations with different histories, cultures, traditions, faiths and values compete, can be come a channel for an ideal strength able to open up new paths, at times unexpected, in overcoming conflicts caused by the violation of human rights".
    The Olympic motto, "Citius, altius, fortius", "is not an incitement to the supremacy of one nation over another, of one people over another people, nor of the exclusion of the weakest and least protected, but rather represents the challenge posed to all of us, not just athletes: that of making the effort and the sacrifice to reach the important goals in life, accepting one's own limits without allowing oneself to be obstructed by them, but seeking instead to overcome them".
    The Holy Father encouraged the members of CONI to continue their work in schools, in the world of work and in solidarity "to promote a sport that is accessible to all, mindful of the weakest and of the most precarious sectors of society; an inclusive sport for the differently-abled, foreigners, those who live in peripheries and are in need of meeting places, sociality, sharing and play; a sport that aims not at being 'useful', but at the development of the human person, in a gratuitous fashion".
    Finally, Francis remarked that CONI was the first national Olympic committee - whose example was later followed by others - to include an Olympic chaplain in its organisation. "It is a friendly presence to demonstrate the closeness of the Church and to stimulate in sports people a strong sense of spiritual training. Indeed, there are certain words typical of sport that can be used to refer to spiritual life. The saints understood this, and knew how to interpret passion, enthusiasm, constancy, determination, challenge and limits, looking beyond themselves, towards the horizon of God".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 19 December 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
    - Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseilles, France, president of the Conference of Bishops of France, accompanied by Bishop Pascal Delannoy of Saint-Denis, vice president, and Msgr. Olivier Ribadeau, general secretary.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Dec 30 09:12:02 2014
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 229
    DATE 30-12-2014

    Summary:
    - Wisdom of the heart to recognise the image of God in the sick
    - Pope Francis' prayer intentions for January
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    Wisdom of the heart to recognise the image of God in the sick
    Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) - The Pope's message for the 23rd World Day of the Sick 2015 begins with a phrase from the Book of Job: "I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame", explained from the perspective of "sapientia cordis", the wisdom of the heart that "is not theoretical, abstract knowledge, the product of reasoning", Pope Francis remarked, but rather "a way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God".
    World Day of the Sick, instituted by St. John Paul II in 1992, is held on 11 February, feast day of the Virgin of Lourdes. The full text of the Message is published below:
    "Dear Brothers and Sisters,
    On this, the twenty-third World Day of the Sick, begun by Saint John Paul II, I turn to all of you who are burdened by illness and are united in various ways to the flesh of the suffering Christ, as well as to you, professionals and volunteers in the field of health care.
    This year's theme invites us to reflect on a phrase from the Book of Job: 'I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame'. I would like to consider this phrase from the perspective of 'sapientia cordis' - the wisdom of the heart.
    1. This 'wisdom' is not theoretical, abstract knowledge, the product of reasoning. Rather, it is, as Saint James describes it in his Letter, 'pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity'. It is a way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and the hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God. So let us take up the prayer of the Psalmist: 'Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom'. This 'sapientia cordis', which is a gift of God, is a compendium of the fruits of the World Day of the Sick.
    2. Wisdom of the heart means serving our brothers and sisters. Job's words: 'I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame', point to the service which this just man, who enjoyed a certain authority and a position of importance amongst the elders of his city, offered to those in need. His moral grandeur found expression in the help he gave to the poor who sought his help and in his care for orphans and widows.
    Today too, how many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are 'eyes to the blind' and 'feet to the lame'! They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating. This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome. It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude. And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is! In those difficult moments we can rely in a special way on the closeness of the Lord, and we become a special means of support for the Church's mission.
    3. Wisdom of the heart means being with our brothers and sisters. Time spent with the sick is holy time. It is a way of praising God who conforms us to the image of his Son, who 'came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many'. Jesus himself said: 'I am among you as one who serves'.
    With lively faith let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the grace to appreciate the value of our often unspoken willingness to spend time with these sisters and brothers who, thanks to our closeness and affection, feel more loved and comforted. How great a lie, on the other hand, lurks behind certain phrases which so insist on the importance of 'quality of life' that they make people think that lives affected by grave illness are not worth living!
    4. Wisdom of the heart means going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters. Occasionally our world forgets the special value of time spent at the bedside of the sick, since we are in such a rush; caught up as we are in a frenzy of doing, of producing, we forget about giving ourselves freely, taking care of others, being responsible for others. Behind this attitude there is often a lukewarm faith which has forgotten the Lord's words: 'You did it unto me'.
    For this reason, I would like once again to stress 'the absolute priority of "going forth from ourselves toward our brothers and sisters" as one of the two great commandments which ground every moral norm and as the clearest sign for discerning spiritual growth in response to God's completely free gift'. The missionary nature of the Church is the wellspring of an 'effective charity and a compassion which understands, assists and promotes'.
    5. Wisdom of the heart means showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters while not judging them. Charity takes time. Time to care for the sick and time to visit them. Time to be at their side like Job's friends: 'And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great'. Yet Job's friends harboured a judgement against him: they thought that Job's misfortune was a punishment from God for his sins. True charity is a sharing which does not judge, which does not demand the conversion of others; it is free of that false humility which, deep down, seeks praise and is self-satisfied about whatever good it does.
    Job's experience of suffering finds its genuine response only in the cross of Jesus, the supreme act of God's solidarity with us, completely free and abounding in mercy. This response of love to the drama of human pain, especially innocent suffering, remains for ever impressed on the body of the risen Christ; his glorious wounds are a scandal for faith but also the proof of faith.
    Even when illness, loneliness and inability make it hard for us to reach out to others, the experience of suffering can become a privileged means of transmitting grace and a source for gaining and growing in "sapientia cordis". We come to understand how Job, at the end of his experience, could say to God: 'I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you'. People immersed in the mystery of suffering and pain, when they accept these in faith, can themselves become living witnesses of a faith capable of embracing suffering, even without being able to understand its full meaning.
    6. I entrust this World Day of the Sick to the maternal protection of Mary, who conceived and gave birth to Wisdom incarnate: Jesus Christ, our Lord.
    O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, intercede as our Mother for all the sick and for those who care for them! Grant that, through our service of our suffering neighbours, and through the experience of suffering itself, we may receive and cultivate true wisdom of heart!
    With this prayer for all of you, I impart my Apostolic Blessing".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' prayer intentions for January
    Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for January 2015 is: "That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace".
    His intention for evangelisation is: "That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Fr. John Saw Yaw Han as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Yangon (area 47,192, population 14,620,000, Catholics 69,120, priests 102, religious 438), Myanmar. The bishop-elect was born in Homalim, Myanmar in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He studied philosophy and theology at the St. Joseph national major seminary, and has served in a number of roles, including missionary "fidei donum" in the diocese of Kentung, lecturer in philosophy at the national major seminary in Mandalay; assistant at the St. Lazarus Church in Insein and St. Mary's Cathedral in Yangon; lecturer in theology at the national major seminary in Yangon; and rector at the minor seminary of Bago. He is currently rector of the national major seminary in Yangon.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) - The Vatican Information Service wishes all its readers a happy New Year. The next bulletin will be transmitted on Friday 2 January 2015.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Jan 5 08:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 002
    DATE 05-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Angelus: Peace, a gift from the Lord every day
    - The Pope appoints 20 new cardinals
    - Note on the creation of new cardinals

    ___________________________________________________________

    Angelus: Peace, a gift from the Lord every day
    Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) - "Men speak much of light, but often they prefer the deceptive tranquillity of the dark. We talk a lot about peace, but often resort to war or choose complicit silence, or do nothing to build peace", said Pope Francis upon appearing at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square on the first Sunday of the year. "The heart of man can refuse light and prefer the shadows, because the light lays bare his wicked works. He who does evil hates the light; he who does evil, hates peace".
    "A few days ago we began the new year in the name of the Mother of God, celebrating World Day of Peace with the theme: "No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters". My hope is that the exploitation of man by man may be overcome. This exploitation is a social evil that extinguishes social relationships and impedes a life of communion characterised by respect, justice and charity. Each person and every people hungers and thirsts for peace; therefore it is necessary and urgent to build peace".
    Francis continued, "Peace is not just the absence of war, but a general condition in which the human person is in harmony with himself, with nature and with others. ... Nevertheless, silencing arms and stopping outbreaks of war remain the unavoidable conditions for embarking on a journey towards the attainment of peace in its different forms. I think of the conflicts that still cause bloodshed in too many regions of the planet, of tensions in families and communities - in how many families, communities, and even parish communities, there is war! - as well as the sharp divisions in our cities and towns between groups of different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. We must convince ourselves that, despite all appearances to the contrary, harmony is always possible, at every level and in every situation. There is no future without proposals and projects for peace! There is no future without peace!".
    The Pope commented that peace is proclaimed as a special gift from God, in the birth of the Redeemer: "Peace on earth to those on whom His favour rests". He added, "This gift must be incessantly sought in prayer and nurtured each day with commitment, in the situations in which we find ourselves. At the dawn of this new year, we are all called to rekindle in our hearts an impulse of hope, that should result in concrete works of peace ... at home, in your community, at work ... works of peace, reconciliation and fraternity. Each one of us must carry out these acts of fraternity towards others, especially those who are suffering as a result of family tensions or disputes of various kinds. These small gestures have great value: they can be the seeds that give rise to hope, that can open up roads to and the prospect of peace".
    He concluded by encouraging those present to invoke Mary, Queen of Peace, "who, during her earthly life, encountered no lack of difficulties in the daily burdens of existence. But she never lost her peace of heart, the fruit of her trusting abandonment to God's mercy. We ask that Mary, our tender Mother, show the entire world the sure path of love and peace".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope appoints 20 new cardinals
    Vatican City, 4 December 2014 (VIS) - Pope Francis announced, at the end of today's Angelus, that on 14 February 2015, feast of St. Valentine, a consistory will be held for the creation of twenty new cardinals - fifteen electors and five non-electors - originating from fourteen countries from all over the world, demonstrating "an indissoluble bond between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present throughout the world".
    The day after the consistory, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebration with the new cardinals, while on 12 and 13 February a consistory will take place with all the cardinals to reflect on the orientations and proposals for reform of the Roman Curia.
    The new cardinal electors are:
    - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, titular of Sagona, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura;
    - Patriarch Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente of Lisbon, Portugal;
    - Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M., of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia;
    - Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand;
    - Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo, Italy;
    - Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Ha Noi, Vietnam;
    - Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia, Mexico;
    - Archbishop Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., of Yangon, Myanmar;
    - Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, Thailand;
    - Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento, Italy;
    - Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., of Montevideo, Uruguay;
    - Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain;
    - Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., of David, Panama;
    - Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Cape Verde;
    - Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga, Tonga.
    The five non-electors are:
    - Archbishop Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez, emeritus of Manizales, Colombia;
    - Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, pro-major penitentiary emeritus, Italy;
    - Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber, apostolic nuncio, Germany;
    - Archbishop Luis Hector Villalba, emeritus of Tucuman, Argentina;
    - Bishop Julio Duarte Langa, emeritus of Xai-Xai, Mozambique.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Note on the creation of new cardinals
    Vatican City, 5 December 2014 (VIS) - The following is the full text of a note from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., on the creation of new cardinals in the upcoming consistory, to be held on 14 February.
    "Considering the usual number of 120 electors, there were 12 places 'available' in the College of Cardinals. Although the Pope has slightly exceeded this number, he has remained very close to it, so it has substantially been respected.
    The most evident criterion is that of universality. Among the new electors, 14 different countries are represented, of which six did not previously have a cardinal, and some have never had one. If the non-electors are also counted, then 18 countries are represented. Among the electors, there are 5 from Europe, 3 from Asia, 3 from Latin America (including Mexico), 2 from Africa and 2 from Oceania. There are no new cardinals for North America (U.S.A. and Canada), since there number is already significant and has remained stable since last year. (There is a new Mexican cardinal).
    There is a significant presence of countries that have not had a cardinal (Cape Verde, Tonga, Myanmar), and of small or minority ecclesial communities. (The Bishop of Tonga is president of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific; the diocese of Santiago of Cape Verde is one of the oldest African diocese; the diocese of Morelia in Mexico is in a region stricken by violence). It is notable that there is only one new cardinal from the Roman Curia, while currently the "Roman" cardinals constitute around a quarter of the electors. Evidently the Pope wishes to consider the Prefects of the Congregations and a few other very important institutions of the Curia, such as the Tribunal of the Signatura. It is confirmed that the Pope does not consider himself bound by the tradition of 'cardinal sees', that for historical reasons in various Countries were considered almost 'automatically' linked to the cardinalate. Instead we see various appointments of archbishops and bishops from sees that have not had a cardinal in the past. This is true of Italy, Spain and Mexico.
    With regard to the non-electors, the Pope's brief introduction is noteworthy: "they represent many bishops who, with the same care of shepherds", have served as the pastors of dioceses, but also in the Curia and the diplomatic service. Appointment as a cardinal may therefore be a form of recognition given symbolically to some, but acknowledging the merits of all.
    The youngest of the new cardinals is the archbishop of Tonga, Msgr. Mafi (1961), who will become the youngest member of the College of Cardinals. The eldest is the emeritus of Manizales, Msgr. Pimiento Rodriguez (1919)".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Jan 8 09:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 004
    DATE 08-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Francis joins in the suffering of the French people
    - The Pope strongly condemns the attack in Paris: "Homicidal violence is abominable and never justifiable"
    - The Pope receives a delegation of Yezidi
    - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue calls for human and spiritual solidarity with the victims of the attack on "Charlie Hebdo" and their families
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis joins in the suffering of the French people
    Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS) - This morning in the Sanctae Marthae Chapel the Holy Father celebrated Mass for the victims of the attack in Paris yesterday, in which twelve people were killed and several were seriously injured. "The attack makes us think of great cruelty, human cruelty; of such terrorism, both isolated terrorism and state terrorism. The cruelty of which man is capable! Let us pray, in this Mass, for the victims of this cruelty. So many of them! And let us also pray for those who perform these cruel acts, so that the Lord might transform their hearts".
    Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France, the full text of which is published below:
    "Upon learning of the terrible attack in Paris on the offices of 'Charlie Hebdo', which has claimed numerous victims, His Holiness Pope Francis joins in prayer with the suffering of the bereaved families and the sadness of all the French people. He entrusts the victims to God, full of mercy, and prays that He will welcome them in His light. He expresses his deepest sympathy for the injured and their families, and asks that the Lord console and comfort them in their ordeal. The Holy Father reiterates his condemnation of the violence that generates such suffering, and praying that God grant the gift of peace, he invokes a divine blessing for the afflicted families and the French people".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope strongly condemns the attack in Paris: "Homicidal violence is abominable and never justifiable"
    Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., issued the following statement to journalists:
    "The Holy Father expresses his strongest condemnation of the horrendous attack this morning that plunged the city of Paris into mourning, claiming a large number of victims, sowing death and causing consternation throughout the whole of French society, and profoundly disturbing all those who favour peace, well beyond the French borders.
    Pope Francis participates in prayer in the suffering of the wounded and of the families of the deceased, and urges opposition by every means to the propagation of hate and every form of violence, both physical and moral, that destroys human life, violates the dignity of human beings, and radically undermines the foundations of peaceful co-existence between persons and peoples, notwithstanding differences of nationality, religion and culture.
    Whatever the motive may be, homicidal violence is abominable and never justifiable; the life and dignity of all must be guaranteed and protected decisively, every incitement to hate must be denied, and respect for others must be nurtured.
    The Pope expresses his closeness, his spiritual solidarity and his support for all those who, in accordance with their various responsibilities, continue to make constant efforts for peace, justice and the rule of law, to heal the causes and sources of hate in this painful and dramatic moment, in France and in every part of the world affected by tensions and violence".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope receives a delegation of Yezidi
    Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received in audience a delegation from the World Community of Yezidi, according to the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. The delegation was led by the Head of all the Yezidi, Mir Tahsin Said Ali Beg, and their supreme spiritual Head, the "Baba Sheikh", Sheikh Khato, both resident in Iraqi Kurdistan. The group also comprised three representatives of the Yezidi of North Iraq, Georgia and the diaspora in Germany.
    During the meeting, which lasted approximately half an hour and took place in the private library of the Apostolic Palace, the delegation thanked the Pope - indicated by one of the delegates as the "father of the poor" -for his support for the Yezidi in this time of persecution and suffering. They informed the Pope of the situation of around five thousand Yezidi women reduced to slavery by the ISIS, and emphasised the good relations between Yezidi and Christians, emphasising their mutual solidarity. Pope Francis assured the delegates of his spiritual closeness and his support in these challenging times, and expressed his hope that soon it will be possible to restore justice and the conditions for a free and peaceful life for the Yezidi, as well as all other minority groups who are the object of discrimination and violence.
    There are around one and a half million Yezidi throughout the world, of whom half a million are in Iraq; there are others in Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and in diaspora in many other countries.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue calls for human and spiritual solidarity with the victims of the attack on "Charlie Hebdo" and their families
    Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS) - This morning the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue published the following declaration:
    "As we reach the end of the meeting in Rome of the four Imams of France, who attended yesterday's general audience along with the delegation from the French Episcopal Conference, the participants, shocked by the heinous attack on 7 January 2015 on the offices of the publication "Charlie Hebdo", wish once more to echo the words pronounced by Pope yesterday and this morning, denouncing this cruelty and blind violence. Like him, we invite believers to show through friendship and prayer their human and spiritual solidarity towards the victims and their families.
    In these circumstances, it should be noted that, without freedom of speech, the world is in danger: it is imperative to oppose hate and every form of violence that destroys human life, violates the dignity of the person and radically undermines the foundation of peaceful co-existence between persons and peoples, notwithstanding differences of nationality, religion and culture.
    Religious leaders are called upon to further promote a "culture of peace and hope" able to conquer fear and to build bridges between people.
    Considering the impact of the media, their leaders are invited to offer information that is respectful of religions, their followers and their practices, thus favouring a culture of encounter.
    Interreligious dialogue remains the only path to follow together to dissipate prejudice".
    The communique is signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Bishop Michel Dubost of Evry-Corbeil et Essonnes, president of the Council for Interreligious Relations of the Bishops' Conference of France, the Imams Tareq Oubrou, Azzedine Cami, Mohammed Moussaoui, Djelloul Seddiki and Fr. Roucou, director of the National Service for Relations with Islam, France.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Institutes of Study);
    - Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta;
    - Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France;
    - Bishop Santiago Olivera of Cruz del Eje, Argentina;
    - Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Latium region;
    - His Excellency Mir Tahsin-beg (Tahseen Saeed Ali), head of the Yezidi in all the World, Georgia, and entourage.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Joel Mercier, as secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Chaudesfonds-sur-Layon, France in 1945 and was ordained a priest in 1970. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a licentiate in theology from the Universite Catholique de l'Ouest in Angers, and a licentiate and doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including parish vicar in the "Saint-Joseph" parish in Angers, chaplain of Catholic colleges and high schools in Angers, and secretary to the bishop of Angers. He has also served as member of the ecclesiastical tribunal in the Pays de Loire and teaches in the faculty of theology, Angers. He is currently an official of the Congregation for Bishops and spiritual director of the French Seminary in Rome. He was named Chaplain of His Holiness in 2005.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Jan 9 08:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 005
    DATE 09-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Francis convokes a conference in the Vatican on Haiti, five years after the earthquake
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis convokes a conference in the Vatican on Haiti, five years after the earthquake
    Vatican City, 9 January 2014 (VIS) - "The communion of the Church: memory and hope for Haiti five years after the earthquake" is the title of the conference beginning this morning in the Vatican. The event was organised by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America in collaboration with the bishops of Haiti, and is a response to the Holy Father's wish to maintain close attention to a country that continues to suffer the consequences of the earthquake, and to reiterate the Church's closeness to the Haitian people during the reconstruction phase. It will above all offer the opportunity to present the balance of aid destined for the country and to analyse the results of the implementation of the projects carried out from 2010 to the present day.
    In January 2010 the island of Haiti was afflicted by an earthquake, the epicentre of which was located near the capital, Port-au-Prince, causing the death of 230 thousand people and devastated the territory, destroying much of the infrastructure, thousands of homes, and all the hospitals on the island. According to Red Cross estimates, the disaster affected three million people.
    The meeting is attended by representatives of the Holy See, the local Haitian church, and various episcopal conferences, workers from Catholic charitable organisations, religious congregations and various Holy See-accredited diplomatic representatives. The conference will begin at 9 a.m. in the St. Pius X building with greetings from Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and a report from Cardinal Robert Sarah who, as president of "Cor Unum" until the end of 2014, managed the Holy Father's donations to the local Church of the island. During the morning session, there will be a debate on the material and spiritual reconstruction process and there will be interventions by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, bishop of Les Cayes and president of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti, Archbishop Thomas Gerald Wenski of Miami, U.S.A., Alberto Piatti, president of the AVSI (Association of Volunteers in International Service) Foundation, engaged in a charitable works on the island, and Eduardo Marques de Almeida, former representative of the Inter-American Development Bank in Haiti. At 11.30 a.m. the delegates present will be received in audience by Pope Francis.
    In the afternoon, there will be presentations by those who work in the context of reconstruction, to enable an exchange of experiences regarding the issue of international cooperation and the priorities and criteria for future action. At the end of the meeting, Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of "Cor Unum", will give an overview of the problems that still remain to be resolved.
    The conference will end with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, at 6.30 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 9 January 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
    - Cardinal Godfried Daniels, archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussel, Belgium;
    - Archbishop Julio Murat, apostolic nuncio in Zambia and Malawi.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 9 January 2014 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Pietro Milite of the clergy of the diocese of Nocera Inferiore - Sarno, Italy, as prelate auditor of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. Msgr. Milite is currently promoter of justice of the same Tribunal.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Jan 15 08:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 009
    DATE 15-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Pope Francis arrives in Manila
    - Accord between the Holy See and Serbia
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis arrives in Manila
    Vatican City, 15 January 2015 (VIS) - Early this morning the Holy Father travelled by car from the apostolic nunciature of Colombo to the airport, where he departed for Manila, capital of the Philippines. During the journey he stopped to visit the Benedict XVI Cultural Institute where he was received by Fr. Mahamale Quintus Fernando, rector of the Institute, and two hundred workers who had collaborated in building the centre in 2011. He then visited the "Our Lady of Lanka" Chapel, where he was awaited by ten Jesuit fathers belonging to the Community linked to the Institute, a choir and a group of fishermen from the area.
    The Chapel of "Our Lady of Lanka" dates from 1911 and was initially dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Cardinal Jean-Marie Masson, O.M.I., archbishop of Colombo, made a vow to the Virgin: if the country was spared the horrors of war, he would build a shrine where the chapel stood, dedicated to "Our Lady of Lanka". The works were completed in 1974 and it was consecrated in February of the same year, with the status of Minor Basilica granted by Pope Paul VI. The Benedict XVI Cultural Institute was opened in 2011 upon the initiative of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, to facilitate collaboration with the authorities and other agencies in rebuilding the nation following thirty years of civil war.
    Pope Francis then resumed his journey to the airport, where Maithripala Sirisena, president of the Republic, various representatives of the civil authorities and a group of faithful bade him farewell.
    At 9 a.m. local time the aircraft carrying the Pope departed from Colombo for the Filipino capital. After a flight of six and a quarter hours, he arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Manila where he was received by representatives of the religious and civil authorities, including the apostolic nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto and the president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III.
    Two children offered flowers to the Pope as he disembarked, around one hundred adolescents sang "Welcome Pope Francis", and a large group of smaller children dressed in white and yellow performed a lively dance. The Holy Father left the air base in an open Popemobile to travel the nine kilometres separating the base from the apostolic nunciature of Manila, during which he greeted the many faithful who awaited him. Upon arrival at the apostolic nunciature, he dined in private and rested.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Accord between the Holy See and Serbia
    Vatican City, 15 January 2015 (VIS) - On 12 January 2015, by mutual consent, the Framework Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Serbia on collaboration in higher education came into force. The Agreement, signed on 27 June 2014, confirms the principles and defines the measures to be taken by both Parties within the field of higher education.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - given his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church of Rev. Basel Yaldo as auxiliary of the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans. The bishop-elect was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1970 and was ordained a priest in 2002. He studied theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University and holds a master's degree in dogmatic theology and a doctorate from the same University. He has served in a number of roles, including vice-rector of the major seminary of the Chaldeans in Baghdad, lecturer in dogmatic theology at the Babel College, deputy priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Baghdad, and special secretary to the late Patriarch Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly. He is currently priest of the St. George Chaldean Catholic Church in Michigan, U.S.A.
    - appointed Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona as bishop of the Chaldean eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle in Sydney, Australia. Formerly Chaldean archbishop of Mossul, Iraq, he retains the dignity of archbishop and succeeds Msgr. Djibrail Kassab, whose resignation was accepted.
    - appointed Chorbishop Emmanuel Challita as bishop of the Chaldean eparchy of Mar Addai in Toronto, Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Fishkabour-Zakho, Iraq in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including deputy priest of the St. Joseph's parish, Troy, Michigan, U.S.A. He is currently priest of St. George's parish in Township, Michigan, U.S.A.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sat Jan 17 07:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 011
    DATE 17-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Francis arrives in Tacloban, fourteen months after the devastation of typhoon Yolanda
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis arrives in Tacloban, fourteen months after the devastation of typhoon Yolanda
    Vatican City, 17 January 2015 (VIS) - On his second day in the Philippines, the Pope transferred by car from the apostolic nunciature of Manila to the Villamor Air Base to depart for Tacloban on the island of Leyte. The papal aircraft took off forty-five minutes before the scheduled time in order to bring forward his visit in view of a tropical storm approaching the coast. Fourteen months ago, on the morning of 8 November 2013, the area was devastated by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which left more than ten thousand victims in its wake and razed all buildings to the ground, including the airport of the city where Francis arrived today.
    After an informal welcome from Archbishop John F. Du of Palo and the mayors of Tacloban and Palo, the Pope made the 600-metre journey by Popemobile to an esplanade able to hold half a million people, where he celebrated Mass despite the strong wind and rain. Francis gave the following off-the-cuff homily in Spanish.
    "In the first reading, we heard that we have a great priest capable of sympathizing with our weakness, who in every respect has been tempted as we are. Jesus is like us. Jesus lived as we do. He is like us in everything. In everything but sin, for he was not a sinner. But to be even more like us, he took upon himself our sins. He became sin! This is what Paul tells us, and it was something that he knew well. Jesus goes before us always; when we experience any kind of cross, he was already there before us.
    "If today all of us are gathered here, fourteen months after the passage of Typhoon Yolanda, it is because we are certain that we will not be disappointed in our faith, for Jesus has gone before us. In his passion He took upon himself all of our sorrows, and - let me tell you something personal - when I witnessed his disaster from Rome, I felt that I had to be here. That is when I decided to come here. I wanted to come to be with you. Maybe you will tell me that I came a little late; that is true, but here I am.
    "I am here to tell you that Jesus is Lord; that Jesus does not disappoint. 'Father', one of you may tell me, 'He disappointed me because I lost my house, I lost everything I had, I am sick'. What you say is true and I respect your feelings, but I see Him there, nailed to the cross, and from there He does not disappoint us. He was consecrated Lord on that throne, and there He experienced all the disasters we experience. Jesus is Lord! And He is Lord from the cross, from there He reigned. That is why, as we heard in the first reading, He can understand us: He became like us in every way. So we have a Lord Who is able to weep with us, Who can be at our side through life's most difficult moments.
    "So many of you have lost everything. I do not know what to tell you. But surely He knows what to tell you! So many of you have lost members of your family. I can only be silent; I accompany you silently, with my heart.
    "Many of you looked to Christ and asked: Why, Lord? To each of you the Lord responds from His heart. I have no other words to say to you. Let us look to Christ: He is the Lord, and He understands us, for He experienced all the troubles we experience.
    "With him, beneath the cross, is His Mother. We are like that child who stands down there, who, in times of sorrow and pain, times when we understand nothing, times when we want to rebel, can only reach out and cling to her skirts and say to her: 'Mother!'. Like a little child who is frightened and says: 'Mother'. Perhaps that is the only word which can express all the feelings we have in those dark moments: Mother!
    "Let us be still for a moment and look to the Lord. He can understand us, for He experienced all these things. And let us look to our Mother, and like that little child, let us reach out, cling to her skirts and say to her in our hearts: 'Mother'. Let us make this prayer in silence; let everyone say it whatever way he or she feels.
    "We are not alone; we have a Mother; we have Jesus, our older brother. We are not alone. And we also have many brothers and sisters who, when the disaster struck, came to our assistance. We too feel more like brothers and sisters whenever we help one another, whenever we help each other.
    "This is all that I feel I have to say to you. Forgive me if I have no other words. But be sure that Jesus does not disappoint us; be sure that the love and tenderness of our Mother does not disappoint us. Clinging to her as sons and daughters with the strength which Jesus our brother gives us, let us now move forward. As brothers and sisters, let us take up our journey. Thank you!"
    Following the Eucharistic celebration the Pope left the island four hours before the scheduled time due to the inclement weather conditions and the approaching category two typhoon. He visited a house belonging to fishermen, devastated by the 2013 typhoon, and transferred rapidly to the archiepiscopal residence, situated on a hill at the foot of which there is a home for the elderly and orphans financed by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and blessed by the Pope today. He lunched briefly with thirty relatives of victims of Yolanda and a number of seminarians, and transferred to the "Pope Francis Centre for the Poor", which he blessed from the Popemobile. He proceeded directly to the Cathedral of Palo where a meeting was scheduled with bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and survivors of the typhoon, and explained to them that the adverse weather conditions would not permit the meeting to go ahead.
    "We have just enough time to get to the aeroplane, since the forecasts tell us that the weather will worsen", he said. "I apologise to all of you. I am so sorry about this, as I had something especially prepared for you. Let us leave everything in the hands of our Lady, as I have to leave now".
    He then transferred to the airport, again by Popemobile to enable him to greet as many people as possible. Finally, the papal aircraft departed for Manila and landed at the Villamor Air Base at 3 p.m. local time. From there, the Pope proceeded to the apostolic nunciature, greeting the faithful along the way.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 17 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., archbishop of Cotabato, Philippines, as his special envoy to the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the "hidden Christians of Japan", to be held in Nagasaki from 14 to 17 March 2015.
    - Msgr. Piotr Turzynski as auxiliary of the diocese of Radom (area 8,000, population 920,000, Catholics 913,100, priests 773, religious 614), Poland. The bishop-elect was born in Radom, Poland in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in theology and patristic sciences from the Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served as parish vicar in Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Poland and spiritual director of the major seminary of Radom, and is currently vice-rector of the major seminary of Radom, adjunct professor at the Institute of Church History and Patrology of the Catholic University of Lublin, director of the diocesan Council for the permanent formation of the clergy and the Council for consecrated life, and canon of the Chapter of Skarzysko Kamienna.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 17 January 2015 (VIS) - Due to the Pope's apostolic trip, the Vatican Information Service bulletin will be transmitted not only today, Saturday, but also tomorrow, Sunday 18 January.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Mon Jan 19 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 013
    DATE 19-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Pope Francis returns to Rome
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis returns to Rome
    Vatican City, 19 January 2015 (VIS) - This morning the Pope celebrated Mass privately in the apostolic nunciature in Manila. Shortly after he transferred by Popemobile to the Villamor Air Base, greeting the faithful who lined the streets along the way. Upon arrival at the airport he was received in the presidential pavilion by Benigno Aquino III, president of the Philippines, who accompanied him on foot to the aircraft. The farewell ceremony took place beside the aeroplane, in the presence of the civil authorities and around a thousand faithful.
    The papal aircraft left Manila at 10 a.m. local time and is expected to land in Rome's Ciampino airport at 5.40 p.m. The Pope will return directly to the Vatican, thus concluding his seventh international apostolic trip.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 19 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Bishop Mario Toso, S.D.B., secretary of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace", as bishop of Faenza-Modigliana (area 1,044, population 140,821, Catholics 132,259, priests 92, permanent deacons 11, religious 155), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Claudio Stagni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - erected the eparchy of Bahir Dar-Dessie (area 221,775, population 16,215,850, Catholics 17,544, priests 24, religious 47), Ethiopia, with territory from the metropolitan archieparchy of Addis Abeba, making it a suffragan of the same ecclesiastical circumscription. He appointed Bishop Lisane-Christos Matheos Semahun, formerly auxiliary of Addis Abeba, as the first bishop of the new eparchy of Bahir Dar-Dessie, Ethiopia.
    - erected the metropolitan Church "sui iuris" of Eritrea, dividing it from the metropolitan archieparchy of Addis Abeba. The seat of the new metropolitan Church is Asmara, which is elevated to the status of metropolitan archieparchy. It corresponds to the territory of Eritrea and regroups the eparchies of Asmara, Barentu, Keren and Seghenity. He appointed Bishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam, M.C.C.J., formerly eparchal bishop of Asmara, as the first metropolitan of Eritrea.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Jan 21 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 015
    DATE 21-01-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia
    - Appeal for Niger
    - Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia
    Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) - Before proceeding to the Paul VI Hall for this morning's Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father, following a centuries-long tradition, blessed two lambs in the hall of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, whose wool will be used to weave the pallia imposed on the new archbishops on 29 June, on the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
    During today's audience, Pope Francis gave an account of his apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. "I will always keep in my heart the recollection of the joyful welcome I received from the crowds", he confessed. The culmination of his stay in Sri Lanka, he said, was the canonisation of St. Joseph Vaz. "His example of holiness and love for his neighbour continues to inspire the Church in Sri Lanka in her apostolate of charity and education", he said, adding that the new saint represented "a model for all Christians, who are called upon today to offer the salvific truth of the Gospel in a multi-religious context. With regard to the meeting with the governmental authorities, he emphasised the importance of dialogue, respect for human dignity and efforts to involve all in finding suitable solutions for reconciliation and the common good.
    He also spoke about his encounter with religious leaders, which confirmed the good relations that exist between the various communities. "In this context, I wanted to encourage the cooperation that has already been initiated between the followers of different religious traditions, also in order to heal with the balsam of forgiveness those who are still afflicted by the sufferings of recent years".
    In the Philippines, he noted "the constant fruitfulness of the Gospel and its capacity to inspire a society worthy of mankind, in which there is a place for the dignity of each person and the aspirations of the Filipino population". He explained that the main aim of his visit was to express his closeness to those brothers and sisters who had suffered as a result of the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda. "The power of God's love, revealed in the mystery of the Cross, was made evident in the spirit of solidarity shown by the many acts of charity and sacrifice that marked those days of darkness". He also mentioned the young volunteer Kristel, killed following his visit to Tacloban by collapsing scaffolding due to extreme weather conditions.
    Francis went on to speak about his encounter with families in Manila. "I have heard it said that families with many children and high birth rates are among the causes of poverty. It seems to me a simplistic opinion. I can say that the main cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from the centre and replaced him with the god of money; an economic system that excludes and creates the throwaway culture in which we live. ... It is necessary to protect families, which face various threats, so that they can bear witness to the beauty of the family in God's plan".
    Finally, he spokes about his meeting with the young. "I wanted to offer them my encouragement for their efforts in contributing to the renewal of society, especially through their service to the poor and the protection of the natural environment. Care for the poor is an essential element of our Christian life and witness - because corruption steals from the poor - and requires a culture of honesty", he concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Appeal for Niger
    Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) - The Pope launched an appeal for prayer for "the victims of the events of recent days in beloved Niger", adding, "Let us invoke from the Lord the gift of reconciliation and peace, so that religious feeling is not transformed into a cause of violence, oppression and destruction. I hope that a climate of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence may be reinstated as soon as possible, for the good of all".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue
    Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday the annual meeting took place between the officials of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCDI) and the staff of the Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation (IRDC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The event enabled information to be exchanged regarding activities carried out during 2014.
    The meeting also offered the opportunity to reflect on future partnerships between the two institutions, which have collaborated for some years now, in order to exchange information and with a view to joint initiatives for the examination of various issues.
    The most recent initiatives include the presentation, in 2011, of the document "Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct", by the PCDI, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - the following members of the College for the review of appeals to the Ordinary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, instituted by the Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi of 3 November 2014:
    President: Bishop Charles J. Scicluna, auxiliary of Malta;
    Members: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA) and the Financial Information Authority (AIF); Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, emeritus of Rosario, Argentina; and Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
    Supplementary members: Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, president of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.
    -Rev. Fr. Daniel Elias Garcia as auxiliary of Austin (area 57,424, population 2,902,992, Catholics 536,183, priests 218, permanent deacons 207, religious 201), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Cameron, Texas, U.S.A. in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas, and a Master's degree in liturgical studies from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of the "St. Vincent de Paul" parish in Austin and dean of the "Austin North Deanery". He is currently a member of the presbyteral council, diocesan consultor, member of the Priests' Personnel Board, and vicar general and moderator of the Curia.
    - confirmed the appointment by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin of Dr. Tommaso Di Ruzza as director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF). Dr. Di Ruzza is currently "ad interim" deputy director of the same institution.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Jan 22 07:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 016
    DATE 22-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Catholics and Lutherans together can bear witness to God's mercy in our societies
    - The Pope praises the service of the Public Security Inspectorate in the Vatican
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Catholics and Lutherans together can bear witness to God's mercy in our societies
    Vatican City, 22 January 2015 (VIS) - "The fact that you come here together is itself a witness to the importance of efforts for unity. The fact that you pray together is a witness to our belief that only through the grace of God can that unity be achieved. The fact that you recite the Creed together is a witness to the one common faith of the whole of Christianity". St. John Paul II addressed these words to the first Finnish ecumenical delegation of the Lutheran Church to come to Rome thirty years ago, and this morning, Pope Francis repeated them to the delegation present today on their annual ecumenical pilgrimage to celebrate the feast of St. Henry of Uppsala, the patron of Finland. The Pope mentioned that this year the visit coincides with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, to reflect this year on Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman at the well: "Give me to drink".
    "We are reminded that the source of all grace is the Lord himself, and that His gifts transform those who receive them, making them witnesses to the true life that is in Him alone", said the Holy Father. "As the Gospel tells us, many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the woman's testimony. As you, Bishop Vikstrom, have said, there is so much that Catholics and Lutherans can do together to bear witness to God's mercy in our societies. A shared Christian witness is very much needed in the face of the mistrust, insecurity, persecution, pain and suffering experienced so widely in today's world".
    He continued, "This common witness can be sustained and encouraged by progress in theological dialogue between the Churches. The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine on Justification, which was solemnly signed some fifteen years ago between the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church, can produce further fruits of reconciliation and cooperation between us. The Nordic Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in Finland and Sweden, under the related theme Justification in the Life of the Church, has been reflecting on important questions deriving from the Joint Declaration. Let us hope that further convergence will emerge from that dialogue on the concept of the Church, the sign and instrument of the salvation brought to us in Jesus Christ".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope praises the service of the Public Security Inspectorate in the Vatican
    Vatican City, 22 January 2015 (VIS) - This morning Pope Francis received in audience a group of agents from the General Inspectorate for Public Security in the Vatican, accompanied by their families. This institution will celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the presence of the Italian forces of order in the Vatican. The Pope thanked them for the work they carry out on a daily basis "with professionalism and dedication". He continued, "We began a new year a short while ago, and we have many hopes and expectations. We also see on the horizon the shadows and dangers that trouble humanity. As Christians we are called upon not to lose heart or to be discouraged. Our hope rests upon an immovable rock: God's love, revealed and given in Christ Jesus, our Lord".
    In his address, the Holy Father recalled the comforting words of the apostle Paul: "'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us'. ... In the light of this firm hope, your work assumes a different meaning, that brings human and Christian values into play. Indeed, you have the task of protecting and supervising places of the utmost importance for the faith, and of guaranteeing the security of millions of pilgrims. Many people who come to visit the heart of Christian Rome frequently turn to you".
    He added, "May every person feel helped and protected by your presence and your care. ... We are all called to be our neighbour's guardians. The Lord will call us to account for the responsibilities entrusted to us, for the good and the bad we have brought upon our neighbours".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 22 January 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation;
    - Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata; apostolic nuncio, former vice-camerlengo of the Apostolic Camera;
    - Ignazio Marino, mayor of Rome.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 22 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Quimper, France, presented by Bishop Jean-Marie Le Vert, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Jan 28 07:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 020
    DATE 28-01-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: fatherly responsibility and the sense of orphanhood in children
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: fatherly responsibility and the sense of orphanhood in children
    Vatican City, 28 January 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis, returning to the theme of the family, dedicated the catechesis of today's Wednesday general audience to the figure of the father: "a word dear to us as Christians, more than any other, as it is the name with which Jesus taught us to call God", he said to the thousands of faithful gathered in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.
    "Father is a universal word, known to all. It indicates a fundamental relationship that is real and ancient as the history of mankind. Today, however, we have reached the point of affirming that ours would be a 'society without fathers'. In other words, in particular in western culture, the figure of the father would be symbolically absent, to have vanished. ... At first, this was perceived as a form of liberation: freedom from the father-master, from the father as the representative of a law imposed from the outside, from the father as the censor of the happiness of his children and an obstacle to the emancipation of the autonomy of the young. Indeed, in the past in some cases authoritarianism, indeed even oppression reigned in some homes: parents who treated their children like servants, who did not respect the personal needs of their growth, fathers who did not help them to embark on their path in freedom, to assume their own responsibilities for building their future and that of society".
    "And, as often happens, we have passed from one extreme to the other. The problem of our times no longer seems to be the invasive presence of fathers, but rather their absence. ... Fathers are so focused on themselves, on their work and at times their personal fulfilment, that they even forget their families, leaving children and the young to their own devices. ... Now, on this shared path of reflection on the family, I would like to say to all Christian communities that we must be more careful: the absence of the paternal figure in the life of children and the young produces lacunae and wounds that can be very serious. And in effect the deviances of children and adolescents may to a considerable extent be due to this lack of examples and authoritative guidance in their everyday life, to this lack of closeness and love from their fathers".
    "The feeling of orphanhood experienced by many young people is more profound than we might think. They are orphans in their families because their fathers are often absent, also physically, from the home, but above all because when they are present, they do not act like fathers: they do not speak with their children, they do not give their children, by their example accompanied by words, those principles, those values, those rules for life that the young need in the same way as they need bread. ... At times it seems as if fathers are not sure what position they should occupy in the family, or how to educate their children. And so, in doubt, they abstain, they withdraw and neglect their responsibilities, possibly seeking refuge in an improbable relationship of parity with their children".
    The civil community with its institutions too has "a certain responsibility towards the young, that might be described as paternal", the Pope added: "a responsibility that at times it neglects or exercises poorly. This too leaves them as orphans, and does not offer them true prospects. The young are therefore orphaned of sure paths to follow, orphaned of teachers in whom they can trust, orphaned of ideals to warm their hearts, orphaned of values and hopes that support them day by day. They are filled with idols but robbed of their hearts; they are driven to dream of enjoyment and pleasure, but they are not given work; they are deluded by the god of money and denied true richness".
    "Therefore, it is good for all of us, fathers and children, to listen once again to the promise that Jesus made to His disciples: 'I will not leave you orphans'. Indeed, He is the path to follow, the master to listen to, the hope that the world can change, that love will conquer hate, that there can be a future of brotherhood and peace for all", Francis concluded. He added that next Wednesday he will further pursue this theme, focusing on "the beauty of paternity". "For this reason I have chosen to begin with the darkness in order to reach the light. May the Lord help us to understand these things well".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 28 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Fr. Cesar Alcides Balbin Tamayo as bishop of Caldas (area 1,395, population 260,000, Catholics 250,000, priests 61, religious 76), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Santa Rosa de Osos, Colombia in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in moral theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, a licentiate in philosophy and science of religious education from the Universidad Catolica de Oriente, Colombia, and a master's degree in business administration from the Escuela de Administracion de Empresas in Barcelona, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including rector of the "Miguel Angel Builes" minor seminary and of the "Santo Tomas de Aquino" major seminary in the diocese of Santa Rosa de Osos, director of the "Cooperativa Fraternidad Sacerdotal", administrator of the "Mutuo Auxilio Sacerdotal Colombiano" of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, and financial director of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia. He is currently parish priest of the "Santa Barbara" parish in Bellavista. He succeeds Bishop Soleibe Arbelaez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Graz-Seckau, Austria presented by Bishop Egon Kapellari, upon reaching the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Jan 29 08:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 021
    DATE 29-01-2015

    Summary:
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 29 January 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
    - Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawlowski, apostolic nuncio in the Republic of Congo and in Gabon;
    - Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo of Belo Horizonte, Brazil;
    - Bishop Guglielmo Borghetti, coadjutor of Albenga-Imperia, Italy;
    - German Cardona Gutierrez, ambassador of Colombia, on his farewell visit;
    - Senator Claudio Zin, with an Italian-Latin American parliamentary delegation.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 29 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Jean-Bertin Nadonye Ndongo, O.F.M. Cap., as bishop of Lolo (area 10,000, population 220,000, Catholics 195,000, priests 22, religious 25), Democratic Republic of Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Botuzu, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1965, gave his perpetual vows in 1992, and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Catholic University of Kinshasa and has served in a number of roles, including parish priest of the "Sacre-Coeur de Jesus" parish in Bwamanda and member of the economic council for the diocese of Molegbe; formator and rector of the "Maison d'Etudes" in Kinshasa; vice-minister and subsequently provincial minister of the Capuchin Friars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and president of the Conference of Capuchin Friars of Central and Western Africa (CONCAO); and president of the Assembly of Major Superiors. He is currently definitor general of the Capuchin Friars Minor, Rome. He succeeds Bishop Ferdinand Maemba Liwoke, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Jan 30 08:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 022
    DATE 30-01-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope recalls the "immense tragedy" of Syria and Iraq
    - Telegram from the Pope for the explosion in the Mexican maternity hospital of Cualjimalpa
    - Pope Francis' prayer intentions for February
    - The Master of Papal Ceremonies explains the new method of imposing the pallium
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope recalls the "immense tragedy" of Syria and Iraq
    Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Consistory Hall the Pope received thirty representatives of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, constituted in 2003 following an initiative of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the ecclesiastical authorities of the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches. During the last ten years, from a historical perspective, it has examined the roads through which the Churches have expressed their communion in the first centuries, and what this means for our search for communion today. During this week's meeting, the Commission embarked upon a deeper examination of the nature of the Sacraments, especially Baptism.
    Francis recalled the inspiring commitment to dialogue of His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Was, Patriarch of the Syro-Orthodox Church of Antioch and all the East, who died last year, and joined in prayer with the clergy and the faithful for this "dedicated servant of God".
    "At this time we especially feel dismay and deep sadness at what is happening in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria. I think of all those living in the region, including our Christian brothers and sisters, and many minorities, who are experiencing the effects of a prolonged and painful conflict. I join you in praying for a negotiated solution and in imploring God's goodness and mercy upon all those affected by this immense tragedy. All Christians are called to work together, in mutual acceptance and trust, in order to serve the cause of peace and justice. May the intercession and example of many martyrs and saints who have borne courageous witness of Christ in all our Churches sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Telegram from the Pope for the explosion in the Mexican maternity hospital of Cualjimalpa
    Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, Mexico, following an explosion in the Maternity Hospital of Cualjimalpa caused during the transfer of fuel to the centre, which claimed several victims and casualties including a number of babies.
    Pope Francis, "greatly saddened by this tragic news", according to the text, "offers his prayers for the eternal repose of the souls of the departed" and "wishes to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased, along with expressions of comfort, his fervent hope for the swift recovery of the injured. He imparts the comfort of his apostolic blessing as a sign of hope in the Resurrected Lord".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' prayer intentions for February
    Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for February is: "That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity".
    His intention for evangelisation is: "That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Master of Papal Ceremonies explains the new method of imposing the pallium
    Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) - In a letter sent to all the apostolic nunciatures and dated 12 January, 2015, the Master of Papal Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, made public the Pope's decision to modify the method of imposing the pallium on the new metropolitan archbishops. The strip of white wool, symbolising the sheep on the shoulders of Jesus the Good Shepherd, will be delivered and no longer "imposed" by the Holy Father, according to tradition on 29 June, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Instead the imposition of the pallium upon the new archbishops will take place in their dioceses, by the hand of the local apostolic nuncios.
    Yesterday, in an interview for Vatican Radio, Msgr. Marini explained the meaning of the Pontiff's decision, indicating that from next 29 June the archbishops, "as is customary, will be present in Rome, will concelebrate with the Holy Father and will participate in the blessing of the pallia, but the imposition will not take place. Each archbishop will receive his pallium from the Holy Father in a simple and private way. The imposition will occur in the diocese of origin, and therefore in a second moment, in the presence of the local Church and in particular the bishops of the suffragan dioceses, accompanied by their faithful".
    This is intended, continued the Master of Papal Ceremonies, to "emphasise the relationship between the newly appointed metropolitan archbishops and their local Church, therefore enabling more faithful to be present and this rite that is so important for them, and especially for the bishops of the suffragan dioceses, which in this way will be able to participate in the moment of the imposition. This maintains the significance of the celebration on 29 June, which underlines the relationship of communion, including the hierarchical communion between the Holy Father and the new archbishops, but at the same time adds, with a meaningful gesture, the bond with the local Church. ... It is a beautiful gesture which accompanies the other [the imposition of the pallium, Ed.], which remains with all its entirety and depth".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family;
    - Bishop Pietro Lagnese of Ischia, Italy;
    - Francesco Maria Greco, ambassador of Italy, on his farewell visit;
    - Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig, Commandant of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, on his farewell visit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Feb 3 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 024
    DATE 03-02-2015

    Summary:
    - Francis: consecrated persons must guide people to Jesus, and let themselves be guided by Him
    - Recognition of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the friars Michal Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strazalkowski, and Fr. Alessandro Dordi
    - 8 February: First International Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis: consecrated persons must guide people to Jesus, and let themselves be guided by Him
    Vatican City, 3 February 2015 (VIS) - The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, 2 February, is the Day for Consecrated Life and yesterday afternoon, as is customary on this occasion, the Holy Father presided at Holy Mass in the Vatican Basilica with the members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life. The ceremony began with the blessing of the veils and the procession, and continued with the Eucharistic celebration, during which the Pope gave a homily emphasising the characteristics of consecrated life.
    "Before our eyes we can picture Mother Mary as she walks, carrying the Baby Jesus in her arms", he began. "She brings him to the Temple; she presents him to the people; she brings him to meet his people. The arms of Mother Mary are like the 'ladder' on which the Son of God comes down to us, the ladder of God's condescension. This is what we heard in the first reading, from the Letter to the Hebrews: Christ became 'like His brothers and sisters in every respect, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest'. This is the twofold path taken by Jesus: He descended, He became like us, in order then to ascend with us to the Father, making us like Himself. In our heart we can contemplate this double movement by imagining the Gospel scene of Mary who enters the Temple holding the Child in her arms. The Mother walks, yet it is the Child who goes before her. She carries him, yet He is leading her along the path of the God who comes to us so that we might go to Him. Jesus walked the same path as we do, and shows us the new way, the 'new and living way' which is He Himself. For us, consecrated men and women, this is the one way which, concretely and without alternatives, we must continue to tread with joy and perseverance".
    Francis continued, "Fully five times the Gospel speaks to us of Mary and Joseph's obedience to the 'law of the Lord'. Jesus came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father. This way - He tells us - was His 'food'. In the same way, all those who follow Jesus must set out on the path of obedience, imitating as it were the Lord's 'condescension' by humbling themselves and making their own the will of the Father, even to self-emptying and abasement. For a religious, to advance on the path of obedience means to abase oneself in service, that is, to take the same path as Jesus, who 'did not deem equality with God a thing to be grasped'. By emptying himself he made himself a servant in order to serve".
    For consecrated persons, this path "takes the form of the rule, marked by the charism of the founder. For all of us, the essential rule remains the Gospel, yet the Holy Spirit, in His infinite creativity, also gives it expression in the various rules of the consecrated life which are born of the sequela Christi, and thus from this journey of abasing oneself by serving. Through this 'law' which is the rule, consecrated persons are able to attain wisdom, not something abstract, but a work and gift of the Holy Spirit. An evident sign of such wisdom is joy. The evangelical happiness of a religious is the fruit of self-abasement in union with Christ".
    In the account of Jesus' Presentation in the Temple, wisdom is represented by two elderly persons, Simeon and Anna: "persons docile to the Holy Spirit, led by Him, inspired by Him", emphasised the Holy Father. "The Lord granted them wisdom as the fruit of a long journey along the path of obedience to His law, an obedience which likewise humbles and abases, but which also lifts up and protects hope, making them creative, for they are filled with the Holy Spirit. ... Mary, the young mother, and Simeon, the kindly old man, hold the Child in their arms, yet it is the Child himself who guides them both".
    The Pontiff noted that, on this occasion, it is the elderly, rather than the young, who are creative: "the young, like Mary and Joseph, follow the law of the Lord, the path of obedience. The elderly, like Simeon and Anna, see in the Child the fulfilment of the Law and the promises of God. And they are able to celebrate: they are creative in joy and wisdom. And the Lord turns obedience into wisdom by the working of His Holy Spirit". However, "at times God can grant the gift of wisdom to a young person, but always as the fruit of obedience and docility to the Spirit. This obedience and docility is not something theoretical; it too is subject to the economy of the incarnation of the Word: docility and obedience to a founder, docility and obedience to a specific rule, docility and obedience to one's superior, docility and obedience to the Church. It is always docility and obedience in the concrete".
    In persevering along along the path of obedience, "personal and communal wisdom matures, and thus it also becomes possible to adapt rules to the times; indeed, true 'renovation' is the fruit of wisdom forged in docility and obedience. The strengthening and renewal of consecrated life are the result of great love for the rule, and also the ability to look to and heed the elders of one's congregation. In this way, the 'deposit', the charism of each religious family, is preserved by obedience and by wisdom, working together. By means of this journey, we are preserved from living our consecration "lightly", in an disembodied manner, as if it were some sort of gnosis which would ultimately reduce religious life to caricature, a caricature in which there is following without renunciation, prayer without encounter, fraternal life without communion, obedience without trust, and charity without transcendence.
    "Today we too, like Mary and Simeon, want to take Jesus into our arms, to bring Him to his people", the Pope concluded. "Surely we will be able to do so if we enter into the mystery in which Jesus Himself is our guide. Let us bring others to Jesus, but let us also allow ourselves to be led by Him. This is what we should be: guides who themselves are guided".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Recognition of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the friars Michal Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strazalkowski, and Fr. Alessandro Dordi
    Vatican City, 3 February 2015 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
    MARTYRDOM
    - Servant of God Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdamez (El Salvador, 1917-1980), archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, killed in hatred of the faith on 24 March 1980.
    - Servants of God Michal Tomaszek (Poland, 1960) and Zbigniew Strazalkowski (Poland, 1958), professed priests of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, and Alessandro Dordi, Italian diocesan priest, killed in hatred of the faith in Peru on 9 and 25 August 1991.
    HEROIC VIRTUES
    - Servant of God Giovanni Bacile, Italian priest (1880-1941).

    ___________________________________________________________

    8 February: First International Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking
    Vatican City, 3 February 2015 (VIS) - This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. The Day will be held on 8 February, the feast day of Sudanese slave St. Josephine Bakhita who, after being freed, became a Canossian Sister and was canonised in 2000, and will be entitled: "A light against human trafficking". The Day is promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace" and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).
    The conference was attended by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life; Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples; and Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council "Justice and Peace". The other speakers were Sister Carmen Sammut, MSOLA, president of the International Union of Superiors General; Sister Gabriella Bottani, SMC, coordinator of Talitha Kum (the International Network of Consecrated Life against Trafficking in Persons); Sister Valeria Gandini, SMC; and Sister Imelda Poole IBVM, coordinator of the European Talitha Kum network.
    Cardinal Turkson, speaking in English, reiterated that "millions of people today - children, women and men of all ages - are deprived of freedom and are forced to live in conditions akin to slavery. For those who cry out - usually in silence - for liberation, St Josephine Bakhita is an exemplary witness of hope. We, victims and advocates alike, could do no better than be inspired by her life and entrust our efforts to her intercession".
    He continued, "the Holy Father invites us all to recognise that we are facing a global phenomenon which exceeds the competence of any one community or country. In order to eliminate it, we need a mobilisation comparable in size to that of the phenomenon itself". The prelate explained that the International Day against Human Trafficking constitutes "a mobilisation of awareness and prayer on a global scale. Our awareness must expand and extend to the very depths of this evil and its farthest reaches ... from awareness to prayer ... from prayer to solidarity ... and from solidarity to concerted action, until slavery and trafficking are no more".
    On the occasion of this first day of prayer and reflection, all dioceses, parishes, associations, families and individuals are invited to reflect and pray in order to cast light on this crime, as indicated by the theme of the initiative. In addition, prayer vigils will be held in different countries, culminating in the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square on 8 February.
    On the day, the faithful are invited to recite the following prayer:
    "O God, when we hear of children and adults deceived and taken to unknown places for
    purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour, and
    organ aharvesting', our hearts are saddened and
    our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are
    ignored through threats, lies, and force.
    We cry out against the evil practice of this modern
    slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end.
    Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and
    stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits
    have been so wounded, so that together we may
    make real your promises to fill these sisters and
    brothers with a love that is tender and good.
    Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be
    converted from this wickedness, and help us all to
    claim the freedom that is your gift to your
    children. Amen".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Feb 4 09:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 025
    DATE 04-02-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: the importance of a father's presence in the family
    - Appeal for an end to the fratricidal violence in Ukraine
    - Archbishop Oscar Romero, blessed and defender of the poor and justice

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: the importance of a father's presence in the family
    Vatican City, 4 February 2015 (VIS) - The positive and decisive aspect of the father figure was the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the catechesis of today's general audience, held in the Paul VI Hall.
    "Every family needs a father", he began, "and I would like to talk about this role starting from several phrases we find in the Book of Proverbs, words that a father addresses to his son: 'My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed. My inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right'".
    "One could not better express the pride and emotion of a father who acknowledges that he has transmitted to his son what truly counts in life, a wise heart", he affirmed, explaining that the phrase in the Book of Proverbs is that of father who says, "This is what I wanted to leave to you, so that it might become yours: feeling, acting, speaking and judging with wisdom and rectitude. And in order for you to be able to do this, I taught you things you did not know, I corrected errors you did not see. ... I myself, first of all, had to test the wisdom of my heart, and monitor my excesses of sentiment and resentment, to bear the weight of the inevitable misunderstandings, and to find the right words to make myself understood".
    "A father knows well how to transmit this legacy: with closeness, gentleness and firmness. However, what consolation and compensation he receives, when his children honour his legacy! It is a joy that repays every hardship, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound".
    To be a good father, the first requirement is "to be present in the family. To be close to his wife, to share in everything, joy and pain, burdens and hopes. And to be close to the children as they grow: when they play and when they make efforts, when they are carefree and when they are distressed, when they dare and when they are afraid, when they make missteps and when they return to the right path. A father must always be present, but" - the Holy Father warned - "being present is not the same as controlling. Fathers who seek to control end up stifling their children; they do not let them grow".
    "The Gospel provides us with the example of the Father in heaven - the only one, Jesus says, who can truly be described as a 'good Father'. Everyone knows the extraordinary parable of the prodigal son, or better of the merciful father in the Gospel according to Luke. How much dignity and tenderness we find in the father who stays at the door of his house awaiting the return of his son! Fathers need to be patient. Sometimes you can do nothing other than wait; pray and wait with patience, gentleness, magnanimity, and mercy. A good father knows how to wait and how to forgive, from the bottom of his heart. He certainly also knows how to correct firmly. ... A father who knows how to correct without humiliating is the same as he who knows how to protect unstintingly".
    "If there is anyone who knows how to explain in depth the Lord's Prayer, taught by Jesus, it is precisely he who experiences paternity in the first person", continued the Pope. "Without the grace that comes from the Father in heaven, fathers lose courage, and abandon the field. But children need to find a father who awaits them when they return home after their failures. They will do everything to avoid admitting or showing this, but they need him, and not finding him opens up wounds that are difficult to heal".
    "The Church, our mother, is committed to supporting with all her power the good and generous presence of fathers in families", Pope Francis concluded, "as, like St. Joseph, they are the indispensable guardians and mediators of the faith for new generations, in goodness, justice and God's protection".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Appeal for an end to the fratricidal violence in Ukraine
    Vatican City, 4 February 2015 (VIS) - At the end of today's catechesis the Pope launched an appeal for an end to the violence among the "beloved Ukrainian people". "Unfortunately, the situation is worsening", he said, "and there is an escalation of hostilities between the parties. Let us pray firstly for the victims, many of whom are civilians, and their families, and let us ask the Lord for an end, as soon as possible, to this horrible fratricidal violence. I renew my heartfelt appeal that every effort be made - also at an international level - to resume dialogue, the only way possible to restore peace and harmony to this ravaged land".
    "Brothers and sisters", he continued, "when I hear the words 'victory' or 'defeat', I feel great suffering, a great sadness in my heart. These are not the right words: the only right word is 'peace'. This is the only right word. I think of you, Ukrainian brothers and sisters. ... Think, this is a war between Christians! You have all had the same baptism! You are fighting among yourselves, with other Christians. Think of this scandal. And let us all pray, so that our prayer might be our protest before God in this time of war".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Archbishop Oscar Romero, blessed and defender of the poor and justice
    Vatican City, 4 February 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and postulator of the cause for the beatification of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, presented the figure of the Salvadoran archbishop assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass and whose martyrdom was acknowledged yesterday with the signing of the necessary decree by Pope Francis. Historian Roberto Morozzo della Rocca, professor of modern history at the University of Rome III and author of a biography of Oscar Romero, also participated in the conference. Extensive extracts of Archbishop Paglia's presentation are published below.
    "It is an extraordinary gift for all of the Church at the beginning of this millennium to see rise to the altar a pastor who gave his life for his people; and this is true for all Christians. This can be seen in the attention of the Anglican Church, which has placed a statue of Romero in the facade of Westminster Abbey alongside those of Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and for all of society that regards him as a defender of the poor and of peace. Gratitude is also due to Benedict XVI, who followed the cause from the very beginning and on 20 December 2012 - just over a month before his resignation - decided to unblock the process to enable it to follow the regular itinerary".
    "The work of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., has been careful and attentive. The unanimity of both the commission of cardinals and the commission of theologians confirmed his martyrdom in odium fidei. ... The martyrdom of Romero has given meaning and strength to many Salvadoran families who lost relatives and friends during the civil war. His memory immediately became the memory of other victims, perhaps less illustrious, of the violence".
    "Following a lengthy procedure that encountered many difficulties, on account of opposition due to both the archbishop's thought and pastoral action, and the situation of conflict that developed in relation to him, the itinerary finally reached its conclusion. Romero becomes, as it were, the first of a long line of contemporary New Martyrs. 24 March - the day of his death - became, by decision of the Italian Episcopal Conference, the "Day for Prayer for Missionary Martyrs". The United Nations have proclaimed that day "International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims".
    The world has changed greatly since 1980, but that pastor from a small Central American country speaks powerfully. It is not without significance that his beatification will take place precisely when there is for the first time in history a Latin American Pope who wants a 'poor Church, for the poor'. It is a providential coincidence".
    Romero the pastor
    "Romero believed in his role as a bishop and primate of his country, and he considered himself responsible for the population, especially the poorest. Therefore, he took upon himself the bloodshed, pain and violence, denouncing their causes in his charismatic Sunday preaching that was listened to on the radio by the entire nation. We might say that it was a 'pastoral conversion', with the assumption by Romero of a strength that was indispensable in the crisis that beset the country. He transformed himself into a defensor civitatis following the tradition of the ancient Fathers of the Church, defending the persecuted clergy, protecting the poor, and affirming human rights".
    "The climate of persecution was palpable. However, Romero clearly became the defender of the poor in the face of cruel repression. After two years as archbishop of San Salvador, Romero counted thirty lost priests - killed, expelled or forced to flee from death. The death squads killed scores of catechists from the base communities, and many faithful disappeared from these communities. The Church was the main target of accusation and therefore the hardest hit. Romero resisted and accepted giving his life to defend his people".
    Assassinated at the altar during Mass
    "He was killed at the altar. Killing him was intended to strike at the Church that flowed from Vatican Council II. His death - as the detailed documentary examination clearly showed - was not only politically motivated, but due also to hatred for a faith that, combined with charity, would not stay silent when faced with the injustices that implacably and cruelly afflicted the poor and their defenders. His assassination at the altar - without doubt a more uncertain death as it meant shooting from a distance of thirty metres rather than an attempt from a shorter range - had a symbolic nature that resounded as as terrible warning for whoever wished to follow the same route. John Paul II himself - who was well aware of the other two saints killed at the altar, St. Stanislaus of Krakow and St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury - noted effectively, 'they killed him precisely at the most sacred moment, during the highest and most divine act. ... A bishop of God's Church was assassinated while he exercised his sanctifying mission, offering the Eucharist'. On a number of occasions he repeated forcefully, 'Romero is ours, Romero is of the Church!'".
    Romero and the poor
    "Romero had always loved the poor. As a very young priest in San Miguel he was accused of communism because he asked the rich to give a fair salary to the peasant coffee cultivators. He told them that not only did they act against justice, but also that they themselves opened the doors to communism".
    "Romero understood increasingly clearly that being a pastor to all meant starting with the poor. Placing the poor at the centre of the pastoral concerns of the Church and therefore of all Christians, including the rich, was the new pastoral way. His preferential love for the poor not only did not attenuate his love for his country, but on the contrary supported it. In this sense, Romero was not partisan, although to some he appeared that way; rather, he was a pastor who sought the common good of all, starting however with the poor. He never ceased to seek out the way for the pacification of the country.
    Romero, man of God and of the Church
    Romero was a man of God, a man of prayer, of obedience and love for the people. He prayed a lot ... and he was harsh on himself, a severity linked to an old-fashioned spirituality made up of sacrifices. He had a 'linear' spiritual life, in spite of having a character that was not always easy - rigorous with himself, intransigent, tormented. But in prayer he found rest, peace and strength. When he had to make complicated or difficult decisions, he withdrew in prayer".
    "He was a bishop faithful to the magisterium. From his papers there clearly emerges his familiarity with the documents of Vatican Council II, Medellin, Puebla, the social doctrine of the Church and other pontifical texts in general. ... It has often been said that Romero was suborned by liberation theology. Once, a journalist asked him, 'Do you agree with liberation theology?'. He answered, 'Yes, of course. But there are two forms of liberation theology. There is the one that sees liberation solely as material liberation. The other is that of Paul VI. I am with Paul VI'".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Feb 5 07:36:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 026
    DATE 05-02-2015

    Summary:
    - Defence of the environment central to the Pope's audience with the president of Kiribati
    - To the bishops of Greece: "Christian solidarity is a leaven for hope"
    - Francis calls for collaboration of episcopal conferences and religious superiors with the Commission for the Protection of Minors
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Defence of the environment central to the Pope's audience with the president of Kiribati
    Vatican City, 5 February 2015 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati, Anote Tong, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
    During the cordial discussions, emphasis was placed on the importance of the protection of the environment and on matters of climate change, which has worrying negative effects on the country, as in other Pacific States. In this regard, the hope was expressed that on the occasion of the COP-21, to be held in Paris next December, the international Community may adopt concerted and effective measures to face this challenge.

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the bishops of Greece: "Christian solidarity is a leaven for hope"
    Vatican City, 5 February 2015 (VIS) - "Faced with the economic and financial crisis that has hit your country particularly hard, do not tire of exhorting trust in the future to all, resisting the culture of pessimism. The spirit of solidarity, that every Christian is called upon to bear witness to in the reality of everyday life, constitutes a leaven of hope", writes the Pope in the text he handed to the prelates of the Holy Synod of Catholic Bishops of Greece this morning, at the end of their five-yearly "ad Limina" visit. He emphasises, in this context, that it is important for the bishops "to maintain constructive relations with the authorities of the country, as well as with the various members of society, so as to spread this outlook of solidarity ... favouring dialogue and collaboration also with the other European countries".
    A key theme of the Pope's text is the need for fraternal communion between the prelates and, in turn, with the faithful in a "diakonia of fraternity". This diakonia "on the one hand, postulates the stewardship and strengthening of cultural traditions and the Christian roots of Greek society, and on the other, requires openness to the cultural and spiritual values brought by many migrants, with a spirit of sincere acceptance towards these brothers and sisters, without distinction on the basis of race, language or religious belief. Your Christian communities, showing themselves to be truly united and at the same time open to encounter and acceptance, especially in relation to the most disadvantaged, can make a real contribution to transforming society, with the aim of making it more closely resemble the Gospel ideal. I rejoice in the knowledge that you are already engaged in this pastoral and charitable action, above all in favour of immigrants including those who are undocumented, many of whom are Catholic".
    In the same spirit, Francis encourages the Greek bishops to continue in their interpersonal dialogue with their Orthodox brothers, "with the aim of nurturing the necessary ecumenical journey, an indispensable prospect for a future of serenity and spiritual fecundity for your entire nation". He also remarks that, in order to carry out the mission of evangelisation and human development, which the Church in Greece is called upon to perform, a "generous and motivated clergy" is essential. He encourages the promotion of "vocational pastoral care", to deal with the insufficient number of priests, and urges the bishops "to transmit to the priests in your dioceses, many of whom are elderly, all my affection and appreciation for their apostolic zeal despite their limited means". Similarly, he mentions the valuable contribution made by consecrated persons, notwithstanding the difficulties they face, and emphasises that in order to revitalise Christian communities it is necessary to fully acknowledge and promote the role of laypersons and to increase "the presence of ecclesial movements and associations ... always working in keeping with the guidelines of the particular Churches and well integrated in the dioceses and parishes". With regard to the family, the Holy Father insists on the need for programmes in preparation for marriage and work on the Christian formation of the new generations. He indicates the importance of underlining, "with words and actions, that the presence and participation of the elderly in social life is indispensable for the good progress of a population".
    "Dear brothers and sisters in the episcopate", he concludes, "I wish to express my acknowledgement of the work of evangelisation that, despite many difficulties, you are carrying out in Greece. The legal recognition of the Catholic Church on the part of the competent authorities is an event of great importance, that will help you to look to the future with greater serenity, making efforts today with trustful dynamism and the enthusiasm of those who are witnesses to the Risen Lord. I encourage you to persevere in your mission with evangelical joy".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis calls for collaboration of episcopal conferences and religious superiors with the Commission for the Protection of Minors
    Vatican City, 5 February 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis has written a letter to the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences and the superiors of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, in which he calls for collaboration with the Commission for the Protection of Minors, instituted in March 2014. The following is the full text of the letter, signed in the Vatican on 2 February, feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
    "Last March I established the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which had first been announced in December 2013, for the purpose of offering proposals and initiatives meant to improve the norms and procedures for protecting children and vulnerable adults. I then appointed to the Commission a number of highly qualified persons well-known for their work in this field.
    At my meeting in July with persons who had suffered sexual abuse by priests, I was deeply moved by their witness to the depth of their sufferings and the strength of their faith. This experience reaffirmed my conviction that everything possible must be done to rid the Church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused.
    For this reason, last December I added new members to the Commission, in order to represent the Particular Churches throughout the world. In just a few days, all the members will meet in Rome for the first time.
    In light of the above, I believe that the Commission can be a new, important and effective means for helping me to encourage and advance the commitment of the Church at every level - Episcopal Conferences, Dioceses, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and others - to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults, and to respond to their needs with fairness and mercy.
    Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children. They should also know that they have every right to turn to the Church with full confidence, for it is a safe and secure home. Consequently, priority must not be given to any other kind of concern, whatever its nature, such as the desire to avoid scandal, since there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors.
    Every effort must also be made to ensure that the provisions of the Circular Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dated 3 May 2011 are fully implemented. This document was issued to assist Episcopal Conferences in drawing up guidelines for handling cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics. It is likewise important that Episcopal Conferences establish a practical means for periodically reviewing their norms and verifying that they are being observed.
    It is the responsibility of Diocesan Bishops and Major Superiors to ascertain that the safety of minors and vulnerable adults is assured in parishes and other Church institutions. As an expression of the Church's duty to express the compassion of Jesus towards those who have suffered abuse and towards their families, the various Dioceses, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life are urged to identify programmes for pastoral care which include provisions for psychological assistance and spiritual care. Pastors and those in charge of religious communities should be available to meet with victims and their loved ones; such meetings are valuable opportunities for listening to those have greatly suffered and for asking their forgiveness.
    For all of these reasons, I now ask for your close and complete cooperation with the Commission for the Protection of Minors. The work I have entrusted to them includes providing assistance to you and your Conferences through an exchange of best practices and through programmes of education, training, and developing adequate responses to sexual abuse.
    May the Lord Jesus instil in each of us, as ministers of the Church, the same love and affection for the little ones which characterised his own presence among us, and which in turn enjoins on us a particular responsibility for the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. May Mary Most Holy, Mother of tenderness and mercy, help us to carry out, generously and thoroughly, our duty to humbly acknowledge and repair past injustices and to remain ever faithful in the work of protecting those closest to the heart of Jesus".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 5 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;
    - Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, of Philadelphia, U.S.A.;
    - Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, apostolic nuncio in Bolivia;
    - Eight prelates of the Holy Synod of Catholic Bishops of Greece, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Sevastianos Rossolatos of Athens; apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Rhodes, with Archbishop emeritus Nikolaos Foskolos;
    - Archbishop Ioannis Spiteris of Corfu, Zante and Kefalonia; apostolic administrator "ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the apostolic vicariate of Thessaloniki;
    - Bishop Nikolaos Printezis of Naxos, Andros, Tinos and Mykonos; apostolic administrator "sede vacante" of Chios;
    - Bishop Petros Stefanou of Syros, Milos and Santorini, with Bishop emeritus Frangkiskos Papamanolis;
    - Bishop Dimitrios Salachas, apostolic esarch for Catholics of Byzantine rite resident in Greece;
    - Archbishop Neshan Karakeheyan, apostolic administrator of the Ordinary for Catholics of Armenian rite resident in Greece.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 5 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Bruno Musaro as apostolic nuncio in the Arab Republic of Egypt and delegate at the League of Arab States. Archbishop Musaro is currently apostolic nuncio in Cuba.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
    # Origin: Sursum Corda! BBS=Huntsville AL=bbs.sursum-corda.com (1:396/45)
    # Origin: LiveWire BBS -=*=- telnet://livewirebbs.com (1:2320/100)
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Feb 5 12:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - #
    DATE 05-02-2015

    Summary:
    - Corrigendum
    - To the bishops of Greece: "Christian solidarity is a leaven for hope"

    ___________________________________________________________

    Corrigendum
    Vatican City, 5 February 2015 (VIS) - We inform our readers that the article "To the bishops of Greece: 'Christian solidarity is a leaven for hope'" transmitted this afternoon contained an error. We wish to apologise, and provide the correct version below.

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the bishops of Greece: "Christian solidarity is a leaven for hope"
    Vatican City, 5 February 2015 (VIS) - "Faced with the economic and financial crisis that has hit your country particularly hard, do not tire of exhorting trust in the future to all, resisting the culture of pessimism. The spirit of solidarity, that every Christian is called upon to bear witness to in the reality of everyday life, constitutes a leaven of hope", writes the Pope in the text he handed to the prelates of the Holy Synod of Catholic Bishops of Greece this morning, at the end of their five-yearly "ad Limina" visit. He emphasises, in this context, that it is important for the bishops "to maintain constructive relations with the authorities of the country, as well as with the various members of society, so as to spread this outlook of solidarity ... favouring dialogue and collaboration also with the other European countries".
    A key theme of the Pope's text is the need for fraternal communion between the prelates and, in turn, with the faithful in a "diakonia of fraternity". This diakonia "on the one hand, postulates the stewardship and strengthening of cultural traditions and the Christian roots of Greek society, and on the other, requires openness to the cultural and spiritual values brought by many migrants, with a spirit of sincere acceptance towards these brothers and sisters, without distinction on the basis of race, language or religious belief. Your Christian communities, showing themselves to be truly united and at the same time open to encounter and acceptance, especially in relation to the most disadvantaged, can make a real contribution to transforming society, with the aim of making it more closely resemble the Gospel ideal. I rejoice in the knowledge that you are already engaged in this pastoral and charitable action, above all in favour of immigrants including those who are undocumented, many of whom are Catholic".
    In the same spirit, Francis encourages the Greek bishops to continue in their interpersonal dialogue with their Orthodox brothers, "with the aim of nurturing the necessary ecumenical journey, an indispensable prospect for a future of serenity and spiritual fecundity for your entire nation". He also remarks that, in order to carry out the mission of evangelisation and human development, which the Church in Greece is called upon to perform, a "generous and motivated clergy" is essential. He encourages the promotion of "vocational pastoral care", to deal with the insufficient number of priests, and urges the bishops "to transmit to the priests in your dioceses, many of whom are elderly, all my affection and appreciation for their apostolic zeal despite their limited means". Similarly, he mentions the valuable contribution made by consecrated persons, notwithstanding the difficulties they face, and emphasises that in order to revitalise Christian communities it is necessary to fully acknowledge and promote the role of laypersons and to increase "the presence of ecclesial movements and associations ... always working in keeping with the guidelines of the particular Churches and well integrated in the dioceses and parishes". With regard to the family, the Holy Father insists on the need for programmes in preparation for marriage and work on the Christian formation of the new generations. He indicates the importance of underlining, "with words and actions, that the presence and participation of the elderly in social life is indispensable for the good progress of a population".
    "Dear brothers in the episcopate", he concludes, "I wish to express my acknowledgement of the work of evangelisation that, despite many difficulties, you are carrying out in Greece. The legal recognition of the Catholic Church on the part of the competent authorities is an event of great importance, that will help you to look to the future with greater serenity, making efforts today with trustful dynamism and the enthusiasm of those who are witnesses to the Risen Lord. I encourage you to persevere in your mission with evangelical joy".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
    # Origin: Sursum Corda! BBS=Huntsville AL=bbs.sursum-corda.com (1:396/45)
    # Origin: LiveWire BBS -=*=- telnet://livewirebbs.com (1:2320/100)
    * Origin: LiveWire BBS - Synchronet - LiveWireBBS.com (1:2320/100)
  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Feb 6 09:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 027
    DATE 06-02-2015

    Summary:
    - To Italian prefects: fidelity to the law and scrupulous respect for the rights of the person
    - Francis at the concluding session of Scholas Occurrentes: the young are the future
    - Consistory on 14 February and courtesy visits to the new cardinals
    - Showers and barber under Bernini's Colonnade for "homeless pilgrims"
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    To Italian prefects: fidelity to the law and scrupulous respect for the rights of the person
    Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall the Pope received in audience the prefects (governmental representatives) of various Italian cities. In his address, he remarked that their work "implies tenacious dedication to duty and an exhaustive knowledge of relevant issues, along with the flexibility necessary to face the innumerable practical cases that emerge, each one with its own peculiarities".
    Pope Francis recalled that in recent years, during which migration has had a particular impact, partly as a result of "an increase throughout the world of violent conflicts with their tragic consequences for the people and the economies of many countries", there has been a need for particular delicacy and competence in relation to immigration. The prefects are faced with "the need to identify in the everyday management of situations, frequently in emergencies, the correct application of norms in order to guarantee, along with fidelity to the dictates of the law and current legislation, scrupulous respect for the fundamental rights of every human being".
    "In this area, as in many others, fruitful collaboration between the Prefectures, dioceses and parishes is of great help; collaboration which, with respect for distinct competences, deserves confirmation, recognition and further development. The Church, as a divine and human entity, works in society in the service of people based on the teaching of Christ and, wishing to carry out her educational and charitable mission in sincere collaboration with the institutions of the State for the development of humanity and the good of the country, is pleased to find in the Prefectures one of the fields in which this synergy for the good of all citizens is made particularly tangible".
    The Holy Father went on to note that obedience to the law and the criteria of humanity at its foundations, alongside loyalty to institutions, constitute the indispensable framework within which the prefects carry out their work, and are attitudes favourable to the assumption of responsibility. "The crisis of authority experienced by our society in various fields, both public and private and with wide-ranging consequences, especially for the education of the younger generations, numbers among its causes the lack of these fundamental dispositions towards obedience, listening and patience. Furthermore, the exercise of authority always has as its aim the attainment of the common good, finding its most intimate reason for existence and the very possibility of its effectiveness in placing itself in the service of those over whom authority is held".
    He concluded, "You are therefore called to exercise your professionalism and your humanity, your knowledge and your prudence, without discouragement or pessimism, knowing however that you will not be faced with abstract questions but rather the real face of men and women with their problems and their hopes, that in these years of uncertainty and economic difficulty have become even more pressing".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis at the concluding session of Scholas Occurrentes: the young are the future
    Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis participated in the closing ceremony of the Fourth World Congress organised by Scholas Occurrentes, held in the Vatican from 2 to 5 February on the theme "Responsibility of all in education for a culture of encounter". The international network of schools, "Scholas Occurrentes - schools for encounter" was established with a small number of children in Buenos Aires at the behest of the then-Archbishop Bergoglio and currently involves four hundred state and religious schools in five continents, linked through sports, art and technology. During the ceremony, Pope Francis held a video-conference with seven disabled children from different parts of the world, who whom he said, "Each one of us has a treasure inside. If we keep it locked up, it stays locked up inside; if we share it with others, the treasure multiplies with the treasure that comes from others". The Pope also remarked that, thanks to them, we understand that "life is a beautiful treasure, but it makes sense only if it is given".
    He went on to speak of a "broken educational pact". "Society, the family, and various institutions delegate education to teachers who, generally underpaid, bear the burden of this responsibility and are berated if the outcome is not successful; however, no-one looks to the various institutions that have broken the educational pact, who have delegated it to the professionalism of teachers". He paid homage to those teachers "who have found themselves with this hot potato in their hands and have made efforts to keep going".
    Francis explained that the aim of Scholas Occurrentes is to reintegrate the efforts of all in education, and to harmoniously rebuild the educational pact, "as only in this way, if all those of us who are responsible for the education of our young act in together, can we change education". He also emphasised the importance of "harmonising the language of the head with that of the heart and of the hands, so that a person, a boy or a girl, thinks about what he feels and does, feels what he thinks and does, and does what he feels and thinks".
    He highlighted every person and every people's search for "the beauty we create with our art, our music, our painting, our sculpture, our literature. Educate in beauty, because harmony means beauty, and we cannot achieve harmony in our educational system without having this perception of beauty". He concluded by thanking Scholas Occurrentes for its achievements and, while he acknowledged that many problems remained to be solved, he encouraged the organisation to continue its work. "Joint work and monitoring are necessary, so that this spark may become a flame, and may help to rebuild and harmonise the educational pact. Those who benefit from this are the young, and the young are the future".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Consistory on 14 February and courtesy visits to the new cardinals
    Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) - On Saturday 14 February in St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father will preside at an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals and the canonisation of Blessed Jeanne-Emilie De Villeneuve, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified (nee Maryam Baouardy) professed nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and Blesseed Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (nee Maryam Sultanah), co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem of the Latins.
    On the same day, in the afternoon, the courtesy visits to the new cardinals will take place in the locations indicated below:
    Paul VI Hall
    Atrium: Cardinals Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente; Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M; John Atcherley Dew; Edoardo Menichelli; Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon and Alberto Suarez Inda;
    Hall: Cardinals Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B. ;Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij; Francesco Montenegro; Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B; Ricardo Blazquez Perez; Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R; Arlindo Gomes Furtad and Soane Patita Paini Mafi;
    Apostolic Palace
    Sala Regia: Cardinals Dominique Mamberti and Luigi De Magistris;
    Sala Ducal: Cardinals Karl-Joseph Rauber, Luis Hector Villalba and Julio Duarte Langa.
    On Sunday 15 February, Pope Francis concelebrates Holy Mass with all the cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at 10 a.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Showers and barber under Bernini's Colonnade for "homeless pilgrims"
    Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) - In recent days work has been concluded for the installation of new showers below Bernini's Colonnade, thus completing an extensive project to provide this service for the poor of the city of Rome through the participating parishes, especially those where there already exist canteens for the poor or where there is a greater concentration of homeless people.
    The project was planned, guided and implemented by the technicians and employees of the Governorate of Vatican City State: three showers and a small "barbershop" have been incorporated in the complete renovation of a section of the bathrooms present under the right wing of the Colonnade.
    This has been achieved with great sobriety and dignity, but also using modern techniques: every washbasin is equipped with hot water, a soap dispenser and a hot air jet for drying hands, all photocell-activated; instead of tiles, a special resin has been used to coat the walls, which is easy to wash and ensures optimum hygiene.
    The showers will be available for use every day, except on Wednesday during the general audience and during celebrations in St. Peter's Square and in the Basilica. On Monday, Thursday and Saturday the service and management of the showers is ensured by volunteers from UNITALSI - Rome Section. The barber will be available on Monday from 9 am to 3 pm. The service is provided by various voluntary barbers and final year students from a hairdressing school in Rome.
    Our homeless pilgrims who wish to use the shower will receive a complete change of underwear and a kit including a towel, soap, toothpaste, a razor, shaving cream and deodorant, in accordance with their specific needs. The majority of the material will be offered free of charge by several companies and private individuals who, having heard of this project, have offered to share their own resources with the needy. The remainder of the material will be purchased as necessary by the Almoner of His Holiness using proceeds from the distribution of parchments for Papal Blessings.
    On certain days of the week the poor will be received by volunteers, starting with the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Albertine Sisters who assist the Swiss Guard, the Vincentian Sisters and many other kind-hearted volunteers in Rome who have offered their time and collaboration.
    The Centro Televisivo Vaticano and the Photographic Service of L'Osservatore Romano will produce video footage and photographs of the new services and will make them available, from their offices, upon request.
    The Almoner wishes to offer heartfelt thanks to all the Parishes that have participated in this project and, in particular, all those who have contributed to producing the showers below the Colonnade and who will endeavour in various ways to their use to assist the poor.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy;
    - His Beatitude Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites;
    - Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru;
    - Bishop Heinz Wilhelm Steckling of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 6 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Fr. Jozef Roszynski, S.V.D., as bishop of Wewak (area 36,917, population 367,000, Catholics 224,000, priests 39, religious 90), Papua New Guinea. The bishop-elect was born in Nidzica, Poland in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He studied at the Divine Word University, Papua New Guinea and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest in parishes in Warabung, Wirui and Wewak; member of the provincial council of the Verbites in Papua New Guinea; superior of the the Verbites in the district of Wewak; member of commissions created by the apostolic administrator for the management of finances and for the pastoral care of the vacant diocese in Wewak. He is currently a missionary in the same diocese.
    - Fr. Denis Chidi Isizoh as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Onitsha (area 2,968, population 2,642,000, Catholics 1,761,000, priests 336, religious 730), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Ogbunike, Japan in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He studied Holy Scriptures at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and studied for a doctorate in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served as a formator at the "All Hallows" minor seminary of Onitsha and chaplain of various institutes and schools. He is currently secretary and assistant to Cardinal Francis Arinze and official at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Feb 10 08:37:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 029
    DATE 10-02-2015

    Summary:
    - Publication of the Homiletic Directory
    - Cardinal Robert Sarah presents the Homiletic Directory
    - Telegram for the death of Cardinal Karl Joseph Becker
    - Declaration by the director of the Holy See Press Office on the situation in Ukraine
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    Publication of the Homiletic Directory
    Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) - The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments today published the Homiletic Directory, which opens with the decree of Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the dicastery on the date on which it was signed, 29 June 2014, Solemnity of the apostles Peter and Paul. The text also bears the signature of Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the same Congregation.
    "It is very poignant that Pope Francis wished to devote considerable attention to the theme of the homily in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium", writes the Cardinal. "Both positive and negative aspects of the state of preaching had already been expressed by Bishops gathered in Synod, and guidance for homilists was offered in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations Verbum Domini and Sacramentum caritatis of Pope Benedict XVI.
    From this perspective, and bearing in mind the provisions of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as subsequent Magisterial teaching, and in light of the 'Introduction of the Lectionary for Mass and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal', this two-part 'Homiletic Directory' has been prepared.
    "In the first part, entitled 'The homily and its liturgical setting', the nature, function, and specific context of the homily are described. Other aspects that define it are also addressed, namely, the appropriate ordained minister who delivers it, its reference to the Word of God, the proximate and remote preparation for its composition, and its recipients.
    "In the second part, 'Ars praedicandi', essential questions of method and content that the homilist must know and take into account in the preparation and delivery of the homily are illustrated. In a way that is meant to be indicative and not exhaustive, interpretive keys are proposed for the cycle of Sundays and Feasts, beginning at the heart of the liturgical year (the Sacred Triduum and Easter Time, Lent, Advent, Christmas Time, and Ordinary Time), and also for the Masses of weekdays, weddings, and funerals. In these examples, the criteria outlined in the first part of the Directory are put into practice: typology between the Old and New Testaments, the importance of the Gospel reading, the ordering of the readings, and the nexus between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, between the Biblical message and the liturgical texts, between celebration and life, and between listening to God and the particular assembly.
    "Two appendices follow the main text. In the first, with the intention of showing the link between the homily and the doctrine of the Catholic Church, references are given to the Catechism according to various doctrinal themes in the readings for each of the Sundays and Feasts of the three year cycle. In the second appendix, references to various Magisterial teachings on the homily are provided.
    "This text was presented to each of the Fathers of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and was reviewed and approved at the Ordinary Sessions of 7 February and 20 May 2014. It was then presented to Pope Francis, who approved the publication of the Homiletic Directory. This Congregation is pleased, therefore, to make it available, desiring that 'the homily can actually be an intense and happy experience of the Spirit, a consoling encounter with God's word, a constant source of renewal and growth' (Evangelii gaudium, 135). Each homilist, making his own the sentiments of the Apostle Paul, is to renew the understanding that 'as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts' (1 Thess 2:4).
    "Translations into the principal languages have been undertaken by this Dicastery, while translations into other languages remain the responsibility of the concerned Conferences of Bishops. All things to the contrary notwithstanding.
    "From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 29 June 2014, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Robert Sarah presents the Homiletic Directory
    Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) - In a press conference held in the Holy See Press Office this morning, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presented the "Homiletic Directory" drawn up by the same dicastery during the mandate of his predecessor, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera. The cardinal was accompanied by Archbishop Arthur Roche and Fr. Corrado Maggione, S.M.M., respectively secretary and under secretary of the Congregation.
    "Often, for many faithful, it is precisely the homily, considered as good or bad, interesting or boring, that is the yardstick by which the entire celebration is judged", explained Cardinal Sarah. "Certainly, the Mass is not the homily, but it represents a moment relevant for the purpose of participation in the holy Mysteries, that is, listening to the Word of God and the communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord".
    "The Directory was not born without a reason. The aim is to respond to the need to improve the service of ordained ministers in liturgical preaching", he continued, noting that during the 2005 Synod of Bishops ordained ministers were asked to prepare their homilies carefully, and basing them on adequate knowledge of the Sacred Scripture. "This is the first fact to bear in mind", he underlined: "that the homily is directly linked to the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospel, and is enlightened by them". During the same Synod, it was also requested that in the homily "the great themes of the faith and the life of the Church should resound throughout the year", in order to "help demonstrate the nexus connecting the message of the biblical readings with the doctrine of the faith as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church". He added, "on the basis of these expectations, Benedict XVI in the exhortation Sacramentum caritatis ... encouraged reflection on the matter".
    The bishops returned to this issue in the Synod on the Word of God, and Benedict XVI in the exhortation Verbum domini, while reiterating that preaching appropriately with reference to the Lectionary was "truly an art that must be cultivated", also indicated that it would be opportune to compile a directory on the homily, so that preachers might find help in preparing for the exercise of their ministry".
    "The way was thus prepared and the Congregation initiated the project. A further impetus to bring it to a conclusion was provided by the emphasis placed on the homily by Pope Francis, who reserves 25 points to this theme in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium: 10 to the homily and 15 to its preparation".
    "The homily is a liturgical service reserved to the ordained minister, who is called upon by vocation to serve the Word of God according to the faith of the Church and not in a personalised fashion. It is not a mere discourse like any other, but rather a speech inspired by the Word of God that resounds in an assembly of believers, in the context of liturgical action, with a view to learning to put into practice the Gospel of Jesus Christ".
    Among the criteria mentioned in the Directory, the Cardinal mentioned, "first, the homily is inspired by the Scriptures inserted by the Church in the Lectionary, or rather the Book that contains, for all the days of the year, the biblical readings for the Mass; second, the homily is inspired by the celebration of which these readings form a part, or rather, by the prayers and the rites that constitute this liturgy, whose main protagonist is God, for Christ His Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit".
    "Obviously", he concluded, "the homily makes demands of he who pronounces it. Therefore, the preparation of the homilist is of the first importance: this requires study and prayer, experience of God and knowledge of the community he addresses, love for the holy Mysteries and love for the living Body of Christ that is the Church".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Telegram for the death of Cardinal Karl Joseph Becker
    Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, superior general of the Society of Jesus, for the death of Cardinal Karl Joseph Becker, S.J., at the age of 86.
    In his text, the Pope expresses his heartfelt condolences and recalls with gratitude the late Cardinal's intense and exemplary service throughout the years in the teaching and formation of the new generations, especially priests; in theological research; and in the Holy See. "I raise fervent prayers to the Lord", he writes, "so that, by the intercession of Mary Most Holy and St. Ignatius of Loyola, He may grant the departed Cardinal the eternal reward promised to His disciples, and I invoke for you and his loved ones the consolation of an apostolic blessing".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration by the director of the Holy See Press Office on the situation in Ukraine
    Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) - "The Holy See is following attentively the situations of crisis in various parts of the world, including the eastern regions of Ukraine. In the presence of an escalation of the conflict that has claimed many innocent victims, the Holy Father Francis has renewed his appeal for peace on several occasions. By these interventions, while inviting the faithful to pray for those who have been killed and injured as a result of the hostilities, the Pope also underlined the urgency of resuming negotiations as the only possible way out of the logic of mounting accusations and reactions.
    "Faced with differing interpretations of the Pope's words, especially those of Wednesday 4 February, I consider it useful to specify that he has always wished to address all the interested parties, trusting in the sincere efforts of each one to implement agreements reached by common consent and invoking the principle of international law, to which the Holy See has referred several times since the beginning of the crisis. As St. John Paul II often repeated, humanity must find the courage to substitute the right to force with the power of law.
    "The Holy Father joyfully awaits the 'Ad limina' visit of the Ukrainian Episcopate, scheduled for the days 16-21 February. This will constitute a further occasion to meet those brother Bishops, to be directly informed on the situation of that dear country, to console the Church and those who suffer and to evaluate together paths for reconciliation and peace".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Jozef Gorzynski, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Warsaw, as coadjutor archbishop of Warmia (area 12,000, population 711,800, Catholics 695,000, priests 521, religious 413), Poland.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 10 February 2015 (VIS) - No VIS bulletin will be transmitted tomorrow, Wednesday 11 February, the 86th anniversary of the signing of the Lateran Pacts and of the institution of Vatican City State. Service will resume on Tuesday, February 12.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Feb 13 08:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 031
    DATE 13-02-2015

    Summary:
    - Extraordinary Consistory: reform will strengthen the credibility of the Church
    - Press release from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    Extraordinary Consistory: reform will strengthen the credibility of the Church
    Vatican City, 13 February 2015 (VIS) - The Extraordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals with Pope Francis did not complete its work this morning as expected. The meeting will continue during the afternoon, with an update on the work of the Commission for the Protection of Minors by its president, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, explained the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., during a press conference today.
    Yesterday, Thursday, the meeting continued in a serene and constructive atmosphere, with interventions by a further 28 cardinals who offered different perspectives on the reform of the Curia, focusing on the relationship between the Curia and the local Churches, and underlining the importance of better serving the Church in the world. They spoke of "decentralisation", and the theme of "subsidiarity" was recurrent. Further reflection was invited on what can be done better and where: or rather, in which cases it would be more useful for the Roman dicasteries to act, and when instead the involvement of the dioceses or the episcopal conferences would be more useful.
    Other interventions were dedicated to the usefulness and importance of the central service of the Holy See, bearing in mind the experience in various countries where the local church is weak and may be subject to pressure, and is therefore supported by the work of the Vatican.
    Coordination within the Curia was addressed not with a merely functional focus, but rather from the perspective of a sense of communion between the different dicasteries, of communication that creates union in the common mission. More specifically, the interministerial commissions were referred to as tools for achieving this objective and the importance of continuity in this dimension of coordination was noted.
    Emphasis was placed on the competence of the Secretariat of State with regard to the Holy See's relations with international organisations and entities as a guarantee of coherence and the assumption of a common position. However, this does not mean that the Secretariat of State acts alone, but rather that it involves the dicasteries with specific competences, always with a guiding unity.
    Simplification is a shared criterion. There were several considerations regarding the qualifications of people working in the Curia, from the point of view of professional competence and ecclesial spirit and dedication. Emphasis was placed on the need for professionals from different parts of the world and for the Church to better reflect her universality. In this respect, there was discussion on the role of the laity, women in particular, in the assumption of positions of responsibility in the Roman Curia. Other interventions focused on the positive elements of the Apostolic Constitution "Pastor bonus", which must not be lost from view; therefore, the reform process must ensure distinct continuity with this document, especially from an ecclesiological point of view.
    This morning's meeting, attended by 164 cardinals, focused primarily on a long report with four interventions on themes of an economic nature, introduced by Cardinal George Pell, president of the Secretariat for the Economy. Joseph F.X. Zahra of the Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic and Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA) then spoke about the study the Commission carried out last year on the organisational issues faced by the Holy See, and gave information on the Commission's activity. It was the first time that the College of Cardinals has received such a detailed report in the presence of so many cardinals. The composition, role, work and competences of the Council for the Economy were then the subject of an intervention by Cardinal Reinhard Marx.
    Cardinal Pell then gave further information regarding the recent activities of the Secretariat, focusing primarily on the balance for the year that has just commenced. Finally, Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, president of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) spoke about the current situation of this body.
    Following the interventions by the cardinals, several questions were raised to the speakers. As well as asking for more specific details, the cardinals expressed their appreciation for the reorganisation work that has taken place and their conviction that this constitutes a convincing reform that prioritises transparency, integrity and competence. The speed with which it has been put into affect was also praised, given that there are already entities working according to the new guidelines. The reforms, it was affirmed, strengthen the credibility of the Church.
    Questions of a more technical nature were also posed, regarding the competences of various bodies and the relations between the Holy See and Vatican City State.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Press release from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
    Vatican City, 13 February 2015 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India have organised a series of events in the country, which will also be attended by Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio in India.
    Two representatives of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Rev. Fr. Indunil Kodithuwakku, under secretary, and Rev. Fr. Santiago Michael, official for Asia, travelled to India to participate in the Fifth Buddhist-Christian Colloquium on 12 and 13 February in Bodh Gaya. Entitled "Buddhists and Christians Together Fostering Fraternity", it is divided into five sub-themes: (1) "We belong to one human family"; (2) "From a culture of diversity to a culture of solidarity"; (3) "Fraternity, a prerequisite for overcoming social evils"; (4) "Fraternity wipes away tears"; and (5) "Together fostering fraternity: the way forward", all to be considered from both Christian and Buddhist points of view. The participants, both Buddhists and Christians, come from various countries: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Mongolia, Taiwan and India. A message will be issued at the end of the event.
    From 14 to17 February the representatives of the dicastery will travel to Varanasi to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Conciliar declaration "Nostra aetate" (28 October 1965). There will be encounters with the Jain, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Hindu communities, on the theme "Celebrating Diversity of Religions to Foster a World of Peace and Love".
    On 15 February, again in Varasani, at the St. Mary's Cathedral Campus, there will be a multi-religious prayer meeting organised by the PCID, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India and the diocese of Varasani, to be attended by representatives of various religions and Christian communities.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 13 February 2015 (VIS) - We wish to inform our readers that tomorrow, Saturday 14 February, due to the Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals, a special edition of the Vatican Information Service bulletin will be transmitted.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sat Feb 14 06:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 032
    DATE 14-02-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope to the new cardinals: "May the people of God always see in us a firm condemnation of injustice and joyful service to the truth"
    - Titular and diaconate churches of the new cardinals
    - Cardinal De Magistris takes possession of his diaconate

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to the new cardinals: "May the people of God always see in us a firm condemnation of injustice and joyful service to the truth"
    Vatican City, 14 February 2015 (VIS) - At 11 a.m. today in the Vatican Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated an Ordinary Public Consistory during which he created twenty new cardinals, to whom he imposed the biretta, consigned the ring and assigned the title or diaconate church.
    The celebration was also attended by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, whom Pope Francis embraced upon entering the basilica. He was also greeted by Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura who, as first among the new cardinals, addressed some words of thanks to the Holy Father on behalf of all. "Becoming part of the College of Cardinals places us in a particular way in the history and life of the Church of Rome that - according to St. Ignatius of Antioch's beautiful phrase - presides in charity. We are invited to come out of ourselves, of our habits and comforts, in order to serve the mission of this Church, aware that this implies having a broader horizon". Cardinal Jose de Jesus Pimiento was unable to attend on account of his advanced age, and so he will receive the biretta in Colombia.
    In the homily he pronounced before the new cardinals, the Pope chose as a guide the hymn to charity from St. Paul's first Letter to the Corinthians, and emphasised that charity must always preside over their ministry.
    "The cardinalate is certainly an honour, but it is not honorific", he began. "This we already know from its name - 'cardinal' - from the word 'cardo', a hinge. As such it is not a kind of accessory, a decoration, like an honorary title. Rather, it is a pivot, a point of support and movement essential for the life of the community. You are 'hinges' and are 'incardinated' in the Church of Rome, which 'presides over the entire assembly of charity'".
    In the Church, "all 'presiding' flows from charity, must be exercised in charity, and is ordered towards charity. Here too the Church of Rome exercises an exemplary role. Just as she presides in charity, so too each particular Church is called, within its own sphere, to preside in charity. For this reason, I believe that the 'hymn to charity' in St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians can be taken as a guiding theme for this celebration and for your ministry, especially for those of you who today enter the College of Cardinals. All of us, myself first and each of you with me, would do well to let ourselves be guided by the inspired words of the apostle Paul, especially in the passage where he lists the marks of charity. May our Mother Mary help us to listen. She gave the world Jesus, charity incarnate, who is 'the more excellent Way'; may she help us to receive this Word and always to advance on this Way. May she assist us by her humility and maternal tenderness, because charity, as God's gift, grows wherever humility and tenderness are found.
    "St. Paul tells us that charity is, above all, 'patient' and 'kind'", remarked the Holy Father. "The greater our responsibility in serving the Church, the more our hearts must expand according to the measure of the heart of Christ. 'Patience' - 'forbearance' - is in some sense synonymous with catholicity. It means being able to love without limits, but also to be faithful in particular situations and with practical gestures. It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small; loving the little things within the horizon of the great things, since 'non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo divinum est'. To know how to love through acts of kindness. 'Kindness' - benevolence - means the firm and persevering intention to always will the good of others, even those unfriendly to us.
    "The Apostle goes on to say that charity 'is not jealous or boastful, it is not puffed up with pride'. This is surely a miracle of love, since we humans - all of us, at every stage of our lives - are inclined to jealousy and pride, since our nature is wounded by sin. Nor are Church dignitaries immune from this temptation. But for this very reason, dear brothers, the divine power of love, which transforms hearts, can be all the more evident in us, so that it is no longer you who live, but rather Christ who lives in you. And Jesus is love to the fullest.
    "St. Paul then tells us that charity 'is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way'", continued Pope Francis. "These two characteristics show that those who abide in charity are not self-centred. The self-centred inevitably become disrespectful; very often they do not even notice this, since 'respect' is precisely the ability to acknowledge others, to acknowledge their dignity, their condition, their needs. The self-centred person inevitably seeks his own interests; he thinks this is normal, even necessary. Those 'interests' can even be cloaked in noble appearances, but underlying them all is always 'self-interest'. Charity, however, makes us draw back from the centre in order to set ourselves in the real centre, which is Christ alone. Then, and only then, can we be persons who are respectful and attentive to the good of others.
    "Charity, Saint Paul says, 'is not irritable, it is not resentful'. Pastors close to their people have plenty of opportunities to be irritable, to feel anger. Perhaps we risk being all the more irritable in relationships with our confreres, since in effect we have less excuses. Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us. It frees us from the risk of reacting impulsively, of saying or doing the wrong thing; above all it frees us from the mortal danger of pent-up anger, of that smouldering anger which makes us brood over wrongs we have received. No. This is unacceptable in a man of the Church. Even if a momentary outburst is forgiveable, this is not the case with rancour. God save us from that!
    "Charity - St. Paul adds - 'does not rejoice at the wrong, but rejoices in the right'. Those called to the service of governance in the Church need to have a strong sense of justice, so that any form of injustice becomes unacceptable, even those which might bring gain to himself or to the Church. At the same time, he must 'rejoice in the right'. What a beautiful phrase! The man of God is someone captivated by truth, one who encounters it fully in the word and flesh of Jesus Christ, the inexhaustible source of our joy. May the people of God always see in us a firm condemnation of injustice and joyful service to the truth".
    Finally, the Pope concluded, "'love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things'. Here, in four words, is a spiritual and pastoral programme of life. The love of Christ, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, enables us to live like this, to be like this: as persons always ready to forgive; always ready to trust, because we are full of faith in God; always ready to inspire hope, because we ourselves are full of hope in God; persons ready to bear patiently every situation and each of our brothers and sisters, in union with Christ, who bore with love the burden of our sins.
    "Dear brothers, this comes to us not from ourselves, but from God. God is love and he accomplishes all this in us if only we prove docile to the working of his Holy Spirit. This, then, is how we are to be: 'incardinated' and docile. The more we are 'incardinated' in the Church of Rome, the more we should become docile to the Spirit, so that charity can give form and meaning to all that we are and all that we do. Incardinated in the Church which presides in charity, docile to the Holy Spirit who pours into our hearts the love of God. Amen".
    Following his allocution, the Pope pronounced the formula for the creation of the new cardinals, their name and the titular diaconate or church assigned to them. The new cardinals recited the Creed and their oath of fidelity and obedience to the Holy Father and his successors. They subsequently received the biretta and the ring from the Pope, who also assigned them their title or diaconate.
    At the end of the rite, Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, addressed the Holy Father to request that three Blesseds be inscribed in the Book of Saints. The first, Jeanne-Emilie de Villeneuve, was born in France in 1811, and founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Castres for the education of poor girls and young women, for the sick, and for missions in distant lands. She died in 1854 and was beatified by Benedict XVI in 2009. The second, Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (nee Maryam Sultanah) was born in Jerusalem in 1843 and carried out an intense apostolate in favour of Christian mothers and the young. Co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem of the Latins, she died in 1927 and was beatified by Benedict XVI in 2009. Finally, Mary of Jesus Crucified (nee Maryam Baouardy), born in Abellin near Nazareth in 1946, was a professed nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, and was sent to found the new Carmelites first in India and later in Bethlehem, where she died in 1878. She was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1983.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Titular and diaconate churches of the new cardinals
    Vatican City, 14 February 2015 (VIS) - Below is a list of the titular or diaconate churches assigned by Pope Francis to the new cardinals created during this morning's Ordinary Public Consistory:
    Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, diaconate of Santo Spirito in Sassia
    Cardinal Manuel Jose Macario Do Nascimento Clemente, title of Sant'Antonio in Campo Marzio
    Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Sourphiel, C.M., title of San Romano Martire
    Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, title of Sant'Ippolito
    Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, title of Sacri Cuori di Gesu e Maria a Tor Fiorenza
    Cardinal Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon, title of San Tommaso Apostolo
    Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda, title of San Policarpo
    Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., title of Sant'Ireneo a Centocelle
    Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, title of Santa Maria Addolorata
    Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, title of Santi Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio
    Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., title of Santa Galla
    Cardinal Ricardo Blasquez Perez, title of Santa Maria in Vallicella
    Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., title of San Giuseppe da Copertino
    Cardinal Arlindo Gomes Furtado, title of San Timoteo
    Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, title of Santa Paola Romana
    Cardinal Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez, title of San Giovanni Crisostomo a Monte Sacro Alto
    Cardinal Luigi De Magistris, diaconate of Santissimi Nomi di Gesu e Maria in Via Lata
    Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber, diaconate of Sant'Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia
    Cardinal Luis Hector Villalba, title of San Girolamo a Corviale
    Cardinal Julio Duarte Langa, title of San Gabriele dell'Addolorata.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal De Magistris takes possession of his diaconate
    Vatican City, 14 February 2015 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that Cardinal Luigi De Magistris, pro-major penitentiary emeritus, will take possession of the diaconate of the Santissimi Nomi di Gesu e Maria in Via Lata (Via del Corso, 45) on Tuesday, 17 February at 5 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

    --- MPost/386 v1.21
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Feb 18 09:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 035
    DATE 18-02-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: Brother, sister: words beloved to Christianity
    - Appeal for Libya
    - Francis joins in prayer for peace in Ukraine
    - 52nd Campaign for Fraternity in Brazil: dialogue and collaboration between the Church and society
    - Francis thanks the Italian Coast Guard for their work with refugees and immigrants
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: Brother, sister: words beloved to Christianity
    Vatican City, 18 February 2015 (VIS) - Continuing his cycle of catechesis dedicated to the family, after reflecting on the figure of the mother and father, the Pope today spoke about fraternity. "'Brother' and 'sister' are words that Christianity loves. And, thanks to the family, they are words that all cultures and all ages understand".
    Fraternal bonds are very important in the history of the people of God, and are highly praised in the Old Testament. However their rupture opened up a deep abyss in mankind, and God's question to Cain - "Where is your brother?" - never ceases to resonate throughout history. "And", exclaimed the Pontiff, "unfortunately, in this generation too, Cain's dramatic answer is also repeated endlessly: "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?". The rupture of the bond between brothers disfigures humanity. And even within families, how many brothers argue over small things, an inheritance, and then no longer even speak to or greet each other? If we think that they inhabited the womb of the same mother .... We all know families in which there are divisions between brothers. Let us pray to the Lord for them, to help brothers be reunited and families rebuilt. And let us always keep these divided brothers in our prayers".
    The bond of fraternity that is formed in the family, among children, if it occurs a climate of education in openness to others, "is the great school of freedom and peace. Perhaps we are not always aware of this, but it is precisely the family that introduces fraternity into the world", remarked the Pope, emphasising that from this first experience, fraternity "radiates like a promise to the whole of society and the relations between peoples. And the blessing that God - in Jesus Christ - lavishes upon this bond of fraternity, extends it unimaginably, making it capable of surpassing any difference of nation, culture or even religion".
    He added, "Think about what becomes of the bond between men, even the most diverse, when they are able to say of another, 'he is just like a brother, she is just like a sister to me'. History has demonstrated sufficiently that even liberty and equality, without fraternity, can be filled with individualism, conformism and personal interest".
    Fraternity in the family shines in a special way "when we see the care, patience, and affection that surround those brothers and sisters who are weak, sick, or disabled. Having a brother or a sister who cares for you is a powerful experience, priceless and irreplaceable. The same applies to the Christian family. We must be moved to tenderness by the smallest, the weakest, the poorest: they have a 'right' to capture our heart and soul. Yes, they are our brothers and we must love them and treat them as such. When this happens, when it is as if the poor are part of the family, our Christian fraternity comes to life. Indeed, Christians go towards the poor and the weak not in obedience to an ideological programme, but because the word and example of the Lord tell us that they are our brothers. This is the principle of God's love and of all justice between men".
    "And now I suggest one thing", he added, off the cuff: "in silence, each of us, let us think of our brothers and sisters, and pray for them". St. Peter's Square remained in silence for a moment, after which Francis added, "With this prayer we brought all of them, our brothers and sisters, here in the square to be blessed".
    "Today, more than ever, it is necessary to bring fraternity back to the centre of our technocratic and bureaucratic society: then liberty and equality will also acquire the correct tone. Therefore, let us not light-heartedly deprive our families, through apprehension or fear, of the beauty of a full fraternal experience. And lot us not lose our trust in the broad horizon that faith is able to draw from this experience, enlightened by God's blessing".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Appeal for Libya
    Vatican City, 18 February 2015 (VIS) - Following this morning's catechesis, Pope Francis launched a fresh appeal for prayers for "our Egyptian brothers, killed in Libya three days ago for the mere fact of being Christians. May the Lord welcome them into his house and console their families and their communities".
    He also encouraged prayer for peace in the Middle East and in North Africa, remembering all the deceased, the wounded and refugees. "May the international Community find peaceful solutions to the difficult situation in Libya".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis joins in prayer for peace in Ukraine
    Vatican City, 18 February 2015 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Pope greeted the faithful gathered in the square in various languages. He dedicated some special words to the Ukrainian bishops, currently in Rome on their "ad Limina" visit, and all the faithful accompanying them. "????? ????? ??????! Praise be to Jesus Christ!", said the Holy Father in Ukrainian. "I know that among the many intentions you bring to the Tombs of the Apostles there is the plea for peace in Ukraine. I carry the same wish in my heart and join in your prayer that lasting peace may come soon to your homeland".

    ___________________________________________________________

    52nd Campaign for Fraternity in Brazil: dialogue and collaboration between the Church and society
    Vatican City, 18 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a message to the faithful of Brazil on the occasion of the 52nd Campaign for Fraternity in Brazil, organised annually by the Episcopal Conference during Lent. The theme of this year's Campaign is "Fraternity: Church and Society".
    "We are nearing Lent, the time of preparation for Easter: a time of penance, prayer and charity, a time to renew our lives, to identify with Jesus through generous donation to our brothers, especially those most in need", writes the Pope. "Indeed, the Church, the community in which 'God gathered together as one all those who in faith look upon Jesus as the author of salvation and the source of unity and peace', cannot be indifferent to the needs of those she encounters, as 'the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted ... are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ'".
    Francis mentions in his message that during these forty days, the Campaign for Fraternity wishes to help deepen, in the light of the Gospel, dialogue and collaboration between Church and society, to serve the construction of the Kingdom of God in the heart and life of the Brazilian people. He underlines, however, that this is not the exclusive task of institutions: all people must contribute, starting in their own home, their own workplace, and in relations with others. "Let us recall that each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and come to their aid".
    The Holy Father encourages an "examination of conscience" on the "concrete and effective commitment of each one of us in the construction of a more just, fraternal and peaceful society". He concludes, "I hope that this year's Lenten journey, in the light of the proposals of the Campaign for Fraternity, may predispose hearts to the new life offered to us by Christ, and that the transformative power that flows from the Resurrection reaches everyone in its pastoral, family, social and cultural dimension, and strengthens sentiments of fraternity and lively collaboration in every heart".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis thanks the Italian Coast Guard for their work with refugees and immigrants
    Vatican City, 18 February 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Domus Sanctae Marthae the Pope received a delegation from the Italian Coast Guard, and heard their account of the difficult rescue operations they carry out at sea to save refugees and migrants. The delegation was composed of nine people, led by Admiral Commander Felicio Angrisano and Admiral Giovanni Pettorino, head of the operative unit, and accompanied by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Maurizio Lupi.
    The members of the delegation recounted their moving and inspiring experiences, and the Pope expressed his participation and appreciation for the service they carry out with bravery and dedication to the poorest. He recalled his trip to Lampedusa and praised the solidarity of the islanders with the refugees that arrive there, even at the expense of tourism in the area. He also mentioned that he had sent his Almoner, Archbishop Krajewski, to participate in the operation to recover bodies following the tragic shipwreck last year, and concluded, "I truly admire you, and I feel small before the work that you do, risking your lives, and I offer my heartfelt thanks to you for this. But I support you in the best way I can: with prayer, praise and affection".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 18 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience Ricardo Lewandowski, president of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Feb 19 08:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 036
    DATE 19-02-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope meets with the parish priests of Rome
    - Lent: call for reconciliation with God, Who knows no hypocrisy
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope meets with the parish priests of Rome
    Vatican City, 19 February 2015 (VIS) - The traditional Lenten meeting of the Bishop of Rome and "his" priests - between the Pope and the parish priests of the diocese - took place this morning in the Paul VI Hall. As announced by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, the theme this year was the homily.
    After Cardinal Vallini's greetings, the Pope introduced the meeting by referring to his 2005 address to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Saints on the theme of the Ars celebrandi, the test of which was distributed to the participants in advance. The meeting then proceeded in dialogue with the priests present.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Lent: call for reconciliation with God, Who knows no hypocrisy
    Vatican City, 19 February 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father presided at the traditional penitential procession from the church of St. Anselm on the Aventine Hill to the Basilica of St. Sabina, located on the same Roman hill. A number of cardinals, archbishops and bishops also took part, along with the Benedictine monks of St. Anselm, the Dominican fathers of Santa Sabina, and the faithful.
    After the procession, Pope Francis presided at the Eucharistic celebration with the rite of the blessing and imposition of the ashes. The Pope received them from the hands of Cardinal Josef Tomko, the titular of the Basilica, and subsequently imposed them upon the cardinals and several monks, consecrated persons and faithful.
    In his homily, the Pope commented on the Gospel readings of the Mass, beginning with the passage from the Prophet Joel, sent by God to call the population to penance and conversion following the plague of locusts that devastated Judah. "Only the Lord can save from the scourge, and it is therefore necessary to plead through prayer and fasting, confessing one's own sin". The prophet insists on inner conversion, begging the population to return to God with all their hearts, which means "undertaking a path of conversion that is not superficial or transitory, but rather a spiritual itinerary that involves the most intimate part of our person. The heart, indeed, is the seat of our sentiments, the centre where our decisions and attitudes mature".
    Joel's call is not directed solely at individuals: it is extended to the entire community, and is a convocation to all, paying special attention to the prayer of priests, and reiterating that this must be accompanied by tears. "It does good to all, but especially to priests, at the beginning of this Lenten time, to ask for the gift of ears, so as to make our prayer and our path of conversion ever more authentic and free of hypocrisy", continued the Pope. "It is good for us to ask: 'Do I weep? Does the Pope weep? Do the cardinals weep? Do the bishops weep? Do priests weep? Do we weep in our prayers?".
    This is the message, he emphasised, of today's Gospel reading, in which Jesus rereads the three works of mercy prescribed by the Mosaic Law - almsgiving, prayer and fasting - "which over time have been attacked by the rust of external formalism, or have even mutated into signs of social superiority". He continued, "Jesus highlights a common temptation in these three works, that can be summarised in hypocrisy (mentioned three times): 'Beware of practising your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them ... Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do ... And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites ... For they love to stand and pray ... that they may be seen by others'. Be aware, brothers, that hypocrites do not know how to weep, they have forgotten how, they do not ask for the gift of tears".
    "When we do something good, almost instinctively there arises in us the desire to be esteemed and admired for this good action, to receive satisfaction from it. Jesus invites us to carry out these works without any ostentation, and to trust solely in the Father's reward".
    "The Lord never ceases to have mercy on us, or to offer his forgiveness once again, whenever we are in need of it, inviting us to turn to him with a renewed heart, purified of evil, purified by tears, in order to participate in His joy. How can we accept this invitation? St. Paul suggests to us: 'We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God'. This effort of conversion is not simply a human task: it is allowing oneself to be reconciled. The reconciliation between us and God is possible thanks to the mercy of the Father Who, out of love for us, did not hesitate to sacrifice His only Son. ... In Him, we can become righteous, in Him we can change, if we welcome God's grace and do not allow the 'favourable time' to pass by in vain. Please, let us stop for a moment and let ourselves be reconciled with God", exclaimed the Holy Father.
    As a sign of our will to be reconciled with God, "aside from the tears that are shed in secret, we make the public gesture of the imposition of the ashes on the forehead. The celebrant pronounces these words: 'For you are dust, and to dust you shall return', or repeats Jesus' exhortation: 'Repent and believe in the Gospel'. Both formulas constitute a reminder of the truth of human existence: we are limited creatures, sinners always in need of penance and conversion. How important it is to hear and heed this call in our time! The invitation to convert thus inspires us to return, like the son in the parable, into the arms of God, tender and merciful Father, to weep in that embrace, to trust in Him and entrust ourselves to Him".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 19 February 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Vito Rallo;
    This afternoon he is scheduled to receive in audience Archbishop Maury Buendia, apostolic nuncio in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 19 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Jose Crispiano Clavijo Mendez as bishop of Sincelejo (area 10,523, population 953,000, Catholics 767,000, priests 66, permanent deacons 4, religious 80), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Tocancipa, Colombia in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in catechesis and youth pastoral ministry from the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of the "Inmaculada Concepcion" in Chimichagua, chancellor of the diocesan curia, rector of the "Nuestra Senora del Rosario" Cathedral, vicar general, director of the Centre for Evangelisation, parish priest of the "El Espiritu Santo" parish in Valledupar, and episcopal delegate for the clergy and for catechesis. He is currently rector of the "Juan Pablo II" major seminary in Valledupar.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 22:59:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 040
    DATE 25-02-2015

    Summary:
    - Clarification of the Pope's use of the expression "avoid Mexicanisation" in a private and informal email
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Clarification of the Pope's use of the expression "avoid Mexicanisation" in a private and informal email
    Vatican City, 25 February 2015 (VIS) - The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced yesterday afternoon that the Secretariat of State has sent a Note to the Mexican ambassador to the Holy See to clarify that in using the expression "avoid Mexicanisation", the Pope did not in any way intend to offend the Mexican population, for whom he holds special affection, nor to underestimate the commitment of the Mexican government in its fight against narcotics trafficking.
    As is known, the expression "avoid Mexicanisation" was used by the Pope in an email of a strictly private and informal nature, in response to an Argentine friend who is deeply involved in the battle against drug abuse, who had used the phrase.
    The Note demonstrates that evidently the Pope intended only to emphasise the seriousness of the phenomenon of the drug trafficking that afflicts Mexico and other countries in Latin America. It is precisely this importance that has made the fight against drug trafficking a priority for the government; to combat violence and restore peace and serenity to Mexican families, acting on the causes at the root of this scourge.
    It is a phenomenon that, like others in Latin America, that the Pope has drawn attention to on various occasions, including in his encounters with the bishops, emphasising the need to adopt policies of cooperation and collaboration at all levels.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 25 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Joseo Aristeu Vieira as bishop of Luz (area 24,990, population 494,000, Catholics 397,000, priests 75, religious 47), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Rio Vermelho, Brazil in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1979. He served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest, spiritual director and professor of the "Sagrado Coracao de Jesus" provincial seminary in Diamantina; and coordinator of vocational pastoral ministry and works for priestly vocations. He is currently parish priest of the " Imaculada Conceicao" parish in Buritizeiro, Brazil.
    - Fr. Luiz Goncalves Knupp as bishop of Tres Lagoas (area 57,876, population 252,000, Catholics 190,000, priests 17, permanent deacons 12, religious 54), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Mandaguari, Brazil in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1999. In the course of his pastoral ministry he has served as parish administrator, parish priest; spiritual director of the seminaries of theology, philosophy and preparation in Maringa. located in Londrina. He is currently parish priest of the "Nossa Senhora de Fatima" parish in Marialva, Brazil.
    - Fr. Janusz Danecki, O.F.M. Conv., as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Campo Grande (area 43,762, population 913,096, Catholics 543,292, priests 106, permanent deacons 3, religious 280), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Lowicz, Poland in 1951, gave his solemn vows in 1975 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He exercised his pastoral ministry in the Franciscan parishes of Niepokalanow and Lodz before transferring to Brazil as a missionary, where he has served as formator of postulants and Superior of the "Jardim da Imaculada" community in Luziania; national director of the Militia Immaculatae, parish priest; rector of the Franciscan seminary in Brasilia, guardian of the convent and secretary of the Custodian; provincial vicar and formator in Brasilia. He is currently parish priest of the "Nossa Senhora de Fatima" parish in Jurua, Brazil.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 22:59:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 039
    DATE 24-02-2015

    Summary:
    - End of life assistance to the elderly, theme of the 21st assembly of the Pontifical Council pro Vita
    - In Memoriam

    ___________________________________________________________

    End of life assistance to the elderly, theme of the 21st assembly of the Pontifical Council pro Vita
    Vatican City, 24 February 2015 (VIS) - The Pontifical Academy pro Vita will dedicate its upcoming general assembly to end of life assistance to the elderly. The assembly, which will take place in the New Synod Hall from 5 to 7 March, is the 21st to be held by this institution, and the official theme is "Assisting the Elderly and Palliative Care".
    During the assembly, on 6 March, there will be a workshop open to the public, especially scholars, healthcare and pastoral workers, and students who are interested in acquiring a deeper knowledge of the theme from a number of viewpoints: theological-philosophical, ethical and medical, cultural and social.
    In the first session of the Workshop, "Clinical care for the elderly at the end of life", following a brief general introduction to the theme by Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy pro Vita, a number of specific issues will be considered, such as medical care for the elderly with chronic degenerative illlnesses, the use and abuse of analgesics in palliative care, nursing care for the terminally ill, and clinical decision-making processes for the elderly at the end of life.
    The second session will be dedicated to ethical and anthropological perspectives, and will focus on the central role of relationships with the elderly in family, social and hospital contexts, and guidelines for accompanying the elderly as they near death, with respect for their dignity and avoiding any form of abandonment or euthanasia.
    The day will conclude with the analysis of socio-cultural perspectives. The third session will be dedicated to the spirituality of the elderly in later year, legal aspects of the end of life, pastoral care and the role of the family, ending with the question, "What is social solidarity?".

    ___________________________________________________________

    In Memoriam
    Vatican City, 24 February 2015 (VIS) - The following prelates have died in recent weeks:
    - Archbishop Pierre-Andre Fournier of Rimouski, Canada, on 10 January at the age of 71.
    - Bishop James Naanman Daman, O.S.A, of Shendam, Nigeria, on 12 January at the age of 58.
    - Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza of Mzuzu, Malawi, on 15 January at the age of 59.
    - Bishop Jose Maria Hernandez Gonzalez, emeritus of Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico, on 19 January at the age of 88.
    - Archbishop Jose Martins da Silva, S.D.N. emeritus of Porto Velho, Brazil, on 29 January at the age of 78.
    - Bishop Adalberto Arturo Rosat, O.F.M., prelate emeritus of Aiquile, Bolivia, on 31 January at the age of 81.
    - Bishop Vincent Valentine Egwuchukwu Ezeonyia, C.S.Sp., of Aba, Nigeria, on 8 February at the age of 73.
    - Bishop Abel Costas Montano, emeritus of Tarija, Bolivia, on 11 February at the age of 94.
    - Cardinal Karl Josef Becker, S.J. aDeacon of San Giuliano Martire, on 10 February at the age of 86.
    - Bishop Thomas Bhalerao, S.J. emeritus of Nashik, India, on 13 February at the age of 82.
    - Bishop Magnus Mwalunyungu, emeritus of Tunduru-Masasi, Tanzania, on 13 February at the age of 84.
    - Bishop Joseph Devellerez Thaung Shwe , emeritus of Pyay, Myanmar, on 17 February at the age of 79.
    - Archbishop Antonio Lanfranchi, of Modena-Nonantola, Italy, on 17 February at the age of 68.
    - Bishop Bernardo Enrique Witte, O.M.I. emeritus of Concepcion, on 21 February at the age of 88. ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 23:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 041
    DATE 26-02-2015

    Summary:
    - The Foundation Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontifice presents the winners of the "Economy and Society" award

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Foundation Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontifice presents the winners of the "Economy and Society" award
    Vatican City, 26 February 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office the Foundation Centesimus Annus presented its activity during the past two years, its programmes and the names of the winners of the second edition of its the biennial international award, "Economy and Society". The speakers in the conference were Domingo Sugranyes Bickel, president of the Foundation, Michael Konrad, secretary of the jury, Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, a jury member and Alberto Quadrio Curzio, president of the scientific committee of the foundation and deputy president of the Italian Lincean Academy.
    The Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, the president explained, was created by St. John Paul II in 1993, is managed by a council made up of nine laypeople and reports to the president of the APSA (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See), currently Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, under the supervision of the Secretariat of State. Its main objective is to promote the Social Doctrine of the Church and it therefore invites the participation of businesspeople and professionals who acknowledge the principles of this Doctrine and of the papal Magisterium, and who wish to contribute to the creation of a new economic and social culture. Sugranyes Bickel emphasised that in these last two years the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice has worked in line with the themes of Pope Francis' 2013 address, in which he remarked that it was essential to "restore to this word 'solidarity', viewed askance by the world of economics - as if it were a bad word - the social dignity that it deserves".
    Msgr. Scotti reiterated the importance of following Pope Francis' example in challenging the "deviant culture" that has reached the point of discarding people. "There are many who believe that the economy should assume the role of absolute producer of the aims and values to which every single aspect of the human dimension should be subject, justifying this with the fact that we live in a post-ideological, post-political age. Certainly, this would be an interesting aspect to analyse. ... However, contemporary culture can also be analysed from the perspective of the Word of God. Considering that this award is assigned to authors who seek to contribute, through their studies, reflections and publications to learning anew how to take a scholarly view of the present and on the use of money, it seems appropriate to me to recall the words of the Qoheleth: 'Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless'".
    The names of the recipients of the second edition of the award were then announced: Pierre de Lauzun, for his work "Finance: un regard chrotien. De la banque medioval a la mondialisation financi*re", a profound reflection on the morality that motivates financial markets, viewed in the light of the social doctrine of the Church, inviting consideration of an order other than that purely linked to profit, and emphasising that there is no form of financial operation that may be separated from social realities and moral needs.
    In the special section dedicated to young researchers of the social doctrine of the Church, the winner was Alexander Stummvoll, born in 1983, for his thesis "A Living Tradition. The Holy See, Catholic Social Doctrine and Global Politics 1965-2000", presented in 2012 at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. The study examines the Social Doctrine of the Church in international relations, referring to four major international issues that take a concrete event as a starting point. With reference to the war in Vietnam, he analyses the Holy See's commitment to peace; taking as a point of reference the Polish crisis before 1989 he studies the politics of the Holy See in relation to communism; from the conferences in Cairo and Beijing in 1994 and 1995 he examines the position of the Holy See regarding bioethical questions, and finally in relation to the campaign against Third World debt on the occasion of the 2000 Jubilee, he studies the Holy See's criticism of unfettered capitalism.
    The awards will be presented by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich und Freising and president of the Jury, during the next International Congress of the Foundation, scheduled to take place from 25 to 27 May in the Vatican's New Synod Hall and in the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome, on the theme "Rethinking Key Features of Economic and Social Life".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 23:01:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 042
    DATE 27-02-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope and the Curia conclude their Spiritual Exercises
    - A congress to commemorate the first mass in Italian celebrated by Blessed Paul VI
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope and the Curia conclude their Spiritual Exercises
    Vatican City, 27 February 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the House of the Divine Master in Ariccia the Holy Father and the Roman Curia completed the spiritual exercises they began last Sunday afternoon.
    Following today's sermon, the Pope thanked Fr. Bruno Secondin, O. Carm., author of this week's meditations, which explored the theme "Servants and prophets of the living God", based on a pastoral reading of the prophet Elijah.
    "On behalf of all of us, myself included", said Francis, "I would like to thank Fr. Secondin for his work with us. It is not easy to give Exercises to priests! We are all somewhat complicated, but you have managed to sow seeds. Many the Lord allow the seeds you have given us to grow. And I hope that we will all be able to leave here with a piece of Elijah's mantle in our hands and in our hearts. Thank you, Father!".

    ___________________________________________________________

    A congress to commemorate the first mass in Italian celebrated by Blessed Paul VI
    Vatican City, 27 February 2015 (VIS) - On 7 March 1965, Blessed Paul VI, on the 25th anniversary of the death of St. Luigi Orione, celebrated the first mass in Italian in history in the parish of Ognissanti (All Saints), Rome. "Today we inaugurate the new form of Liturgy in all the parishes and churches of the world, for all the Masses followed by the people. It is a great event, that shall be remembered as the beginning of a flourishing spiritual life, as a new effort to participate in the great dialogue between God and man".
    Fifty years on, to commemorate this historic date, Pope Francis will preside at a Eucharistic celebration next Saturday, 7 March at 6 p.m. in the same parish (Via Appia Nuova, 244). The occasion will also be celebrated by a Congress on Pastoral Liturgy organised by the Vicariate of Rome, the Opera Don Orione and the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome, to open today at the Teatro Orione, adjacent to the All Saints parish.
    The theme of the Congress is "United in giving thanks". The works will be presented by Rev. Flavio Peloso, superior general of the Sons of Divine Providence (Don Orione), who comments that the event "will facilitate an understanding of the reasons behind yesterday's liturgical reforms and today's commitment to liturgical fidelity". Following greetings from the auxiliary bishop Giuseppe Marciante, Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrano, metropolitan emeritus of Foggia-Bovino, Italy, will speak about "Tradition and renewal in paragraph 23 of the liturgical Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium. Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, will then consider the theme "The spoken language, tool of communion in the dialogue of the liturgical assembly", and finally Rev. Francesco Mazzitelli, parish priest of Ognissanti, will examine "The liturgical formation of the laity".
    The work of the Congress will be concluded by the Benedictine Fr. Jordi Pique, president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. The moderator, Fr. Giuseppe Midili, director of the diocesan liturgical office, affirmed that "the congress offers various points for reflection on the reasons that led the conciliar bishops to introduce the spoken language into the liturgy. Indeed, one of the main aims of liturgical reform was full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy, so that the faithful moved on from their role as mute, extraneous spectators. In this sense, the change was historical and signified a turnaround. Indeed, when the liturgy was celebrated in a language they did not understand, the faithful sought more accessible forms of private worship and prayer to recite during the Mass. With the introduction of the spoken language, these individualistic forms slowly disappeared from the celebratory context in favour of the centrality of the community celebration".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 27 February 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Charles Jude Scicluna, as metropolitan archbishop of Malta (area 246, population 413,000, Catholics 380,000, priests 621, religious 1,321), Malta. Msgr. Scicluna is currently apostolic administrator of the same archdiocese.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 23:02:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 045
    DATE 04-03-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: awaken a collective sense of gratitude towards grandparents and the elderly
    - The Pope receives bishop friends of the Focolare Movement
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: awaken a collective sense of gratitude towards grandparents and the elderly
    Vatican City, 4 March 2015 (VIS) - Grandparents were the focus of this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square. Continuing his catechesis on the family, today the Pope considered the difficult current situation faced by the elderly, commenting that next week he will present a more positive view of the vocation that corresponds to this stage in life.
    Thanks to advances in medical care, the Holy Father observed, life expectancy has increased and there is a far greater number of elderly people, but nevertheless society has not adapted to this change, and has not responded by creating space for them, with the respect and consideration their fragility and dignity demand. "When we are young, we are induced to ignore old age, as if it were an illness to keep at bay; however, once we become old, especially if we are poor, ill and alone, we experience the gaps in a society programmed for efficiency, which as a consequence ignores the elderly".
    He recalled the words of Benedict XVI during his visit to a residential home for the elderly: "The quality of a society ... is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life", and exclaimed, "A civilisation can sustain itself if it respects wisdom, the wisdom of the elderly. On the contrary, a civilisation in which there is no place for the elderly or in which they are discarded because they create problems ... carries the virus of death".
    He continued, "In the west, scholars present the current century as 'the century of old age: there are fewer children and an increase in elderly people. This imbalance is a great challenge to contemporary society. And yet, a certain culture of profit insists on making the elderly appear to be a burden, an extra weight. They are not only unproductive; they are an encumbrance, and are to be discarded. And discarding them is sinful. We do not dare to say this openly, but it happens. There is something cowardly in this inurement to throwaway culture. We want to remove our growing fear of weakness and vulnerability, but in this way we increase in the elderly the anguish of being inadequately supported and abandoned".
    Francis recalled that during his ministry in Buenos Aires he had first hand experience of these problems. "The elderly are abandoned, and not only to material precariousness. They are abandoned as a result of our selfish inability to accept their limits, which reflect our own limits, in the many difficulties that they must overcome nowadays to survive in a civilization that does not allow them to participate, to have their say, or to be referents according to a consumerist model in which 'only the young can be useful and can enjoy themselves'. The elderly should instead be, for all of society, the reserve of wisdom of our population. How easy it is for our conscience to slumber when there is no love".
    In the tradition of the Church, there is "a legacy of wisdom that has always promoted a culture of closeness to the elderly, a willingness to provide affectionate and supportive accompaniment in this final stage of life. This tradition is rooted in the Sacred Scripture". Therefore, "the Church cannot and does n wish to conform to a mentality of impatience, far less indifference and disdain, with regard to old age. We must reawaken our collective sense of gratitude, appreciation and hospitality that enable the elderly to feel like a living part of the community. The elderly are men and women, mothers and fathers who have walked the same road before us, in the same house, in our everyday struggle for a dignified life. They are men and women from whom we have received much. The elderly person is not an alien. We are the elderly: sooner or later but in any case inevitably, even if we do not think about it".
    "We are all a little fragile, the elderly", he continued. "Some, however, are particularly weak, many are alone, and affected by illness. Some depend on the indispensable care and attention of others. Will we take a step back for this? Will we abandon them to their fate? A society without closeness, in which gratuitousness and selfless affection - even among strangers - are disappearing, is a perverse society. The Church, faithful to the Word of God, cannot tolerate these degenerations. A Christian community in which closeness and gratuitousness are no longer considered indispensable, would lose its soul with this. Where there is no honour to the elderly, there is no future for the young".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope receives bishop friends of the Focolare Movement
    Vatican City, 4 March 2015 (VIS) - The Pope, before today's general audience, received in the Paul VI Hall the seventy prelates from thirty-five countries attending the 38th Congress of Bishop Friends of the Focolare Movement, which began yesterday and will conclude on 6 March. The theme of the congress is "Eucharist, mystery of communion". The president of the Movement, Maria Voce, and the co-president Jesus Moran, were also present in the Paul VI Hall. Following greetings from Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok, Thailand, the Holy Father gave a brief address.
    "You have united in Rome the friendship of this Movement and an interest in the spirituality of communion", said the Holy Father. "Effectively, the charism of unity, typical of the Work of Mary, is strongly anchored in the Eucharist, which confers its Christian and ecclesial character. Without the Eucharist, unity would be reduced to an emotion and a solely human, psychological, sociological dynamic. Instead, the Eucharist guarantees that Christ is at the centre, that it is His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that guides our steps and our initiatives for encounter and communion".
    "As bishops, we gather our communities around the Eucharist, the dual nourishment of the Word and the Bread of Life. This is our service, and it is fundamental. The bishop is the principle of unity in the Church, but this is not possible without the Eucharist: the bishop does not gather the people around his person or his ideas, but rather around Christ, present in His Word and in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. And following Jesus, the good pastor who made Himself lamb, sacrificed and resurrected, the bishop gathers the flock entrusted to him by offering his life, assuming himself a form of Eucharistic existence."
    The Holy Father gave special thanks to the prelates from the "bloodsoaked lands" of Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. "In the suffering you live with your people, you experience the strength that comes from Jesus in the Eucharist, the strength to go ahead united in faith and hope. In the daily celebration of Mass we join with you, and we pray for you, offering Christ's Sacrifice; and in this way the many initiatives of solidarity with your Churches take on strength and meaning".
    "Dear brothers", he concluded, "I encourage you to continue in your commitment to promoting the ecumenical path and interreligious dialogue. And I thank you for the contribution you give towards greater communion between the various ecclesial movements".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 4 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - appointed Bishop Joaquim Wladimir Lopes Dias as bishop of Colatina (area 13,086, population 568,000, Catholics 484,000, priests 59, permanent deacons 11, religious 86), Brazil. Bishop Lopes Dias is currently auxiliary of the archdiocese of Vitoria, Brazil.
    - appointed Rev. Jorge Cuapio Bautista as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Tlalnepantla (area 682, population 2,300,239, Catholics 1,953,239, priests 312, permanent deacons 10, religious 347), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Santa Ana Chiauhteman, Mexico in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He belongs to the Community of the Missionaries of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Universidad Popular Autonoma of the state of Pueblo, and a licentiate in science of the family from the John Paul II Institute in Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Texcoco, including parish vicar, professor in the seminary, parish priest of the "San Salvador" and "San Bartolome Apostol" parishes, episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry and member of the College of Consultors. He currently assists in the parish of "Santa Isabel Ixtapan".
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, presented by Bishop Francisco Ramirez Navarro upon reaching the age limit.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 23:02:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 044
    DATE 03-03-2015

    Summary:
    - Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Pompeii and Naples
    - The Pope approves the statutes of the new economic entities
    - The Piazza and the Temple: new meeting of the Courtyard of the Gentiles
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Programme of the Holy Father's visit to Pompeii and Naples
    Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis will travel to Pompeii and Naples on Saturday, 21 March. He will leave the Vatican by helicopter at 7 a.m., and will arrive at the meeting area of the Shrine of Pompeii an hour later. Following a moment of prayer at the shrine, he will transfer by helicopter to the Scampia sports field in Naples. He will meet with representatives of various different groups in Piazza Giovanni Paolo II, and at 11 a.m. he will celebrate Holy Mass in Piazza del Plebiscito.
    At 1 p.m., Pope Francis will visit the "Giuseppe Salvia" detention centre at Poggioreale, where he will lunch with a group of detainees. Two hours later he will venerate the relics of St. Januarius and, in the Cathedral of Naples, will meet the clergy, men and women religious and permanent deacons of the archdiocese. An hour later, in the Ges* Nuovo Basilica, he will meet with a group of sick people and, at 5 p.m. in the maritime quarter of Caracciolo, he will meet with a group of young Neapolitans.
    The Pope will depart from the Naples Maritime Centre by helicopter at 6.15 p.m., and is due to arrive in the Vatican at 7 p.m.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope approves the statutes of the new economic entities
    Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has approved the statutes of the new economic entities of the Holy See: the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy and the General Auditor's Office. The three statutes, signed 22 February 2015, feast of the Chair of St. Peter, were approved "ad experimentum" and entered into force on 1 March 2015, prior to their publication in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
    The statutes may be consulted on the Vatican website: www.vatican.va

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Piazza and the Temple: new meeting of the Courtyard of the Gentiles
    Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) - "The Piazza and the Temple" is the title of an event to take place next Friday, 6 March, in the Centre for American Studies in Rome. It is an initiative of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, a forum for dialogue between believers and non-believers which has for some years organised meetings of this type in various cities throughout the world, under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
    The event in Rome, organised with the collaboration of the Institut Francais-Centre St. Louis of the French Embassy at the Holy See and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, will be a meeting between believers and non-believers on how these two sensibilities - city square and temple - can coexist in the twenty-first century. According to a communique released by the Courtyard of the Gentiles, "the square is increasingly occupied by merchants, and by those who demand justice for the victims of merchants. The faithful of the temple also ask that their voice be heard in the square, because in a free society the square must be open to all". The meeting will facilitate discussion regarding "the way in which these different voices can coexist, what limits every right involves, and the relationship that the square and the temple can have with the Palace", or seats of power. A post-secular dialogue, that unfolds against the backdrop of the sure decline of an idea of secularisation according to which the temples would have gradually emptied".
    The chair and moderator will be the constitutional lawyer and former prime minister of Italy, Giuliano Amato, president of the Courtyard of the Gentiles Foundation. The meeting will also be attended by the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, author of the influential essay "A Secular Age", among other works, and other experts on the theme of secularisation: Jose Casanova, professor of the sociology of religion at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., U.S.A.; Alessandro Ferrara, professor of political philosophy at the Tor Vergata University of Rome; Giacomo Marramao, professor of theoretical philosophy at the University of Rome III; and Francois Bousquet, historian and anthropologist of religions.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 3 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Robert W. McElroy, auxiliary of San Francisco, U.S.A., as bishop of San Diego (area 22,942, population 3,127,045, Catholics 986,499, priests 309, permanent deacons 145, religious 335), U.S.A.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 23:03:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 047
    DATE 06-03-2015

    Summary:
    - Audience with the president of Azerbaijan: importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue to promote peace
    - The Pope to members of the Neocatechumenal Way on the "missio ad gentes": take to the peripheries of the world the message the God loves humanity and that love is possible
    - Telegram for the death of Cardinal Edward M. Egan
    - Bishop Renato Corti is the author of the meditations for the stations of the 2015 Via Crucis
    - Promoting a Europe based on the sacred nature of the human being
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audience with the president of Azerbaijan: importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue to promote peace
    Vatican City, 6 March 2015 (VIS) - This morning the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife were received in Audience by the Holy Father Francis. The president subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the under secretary for Relations with States, Msgr. Antoine Camilleri.
    During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the development of bilateral relations. In particular, attention was paid to themes regarding the life of the Catholic Community in the country and to a number of initiatives in the culture field, revealing the value in the contemporary world of intercultural and interreligious dialogue to promote peace.
    Reference was then made to the current regional and international situation, emphasising the importance of negotiation in conflict resolution, and education for promoting the conditions for peaceful coexistence between populations and different religious groups.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to members of the Neocatechumenal Way on the "missio ad gentes": take to the peripheries of the world the message the God loves humanity and that love is possible
    Vatican City, 6 March 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall Pope Francis received in audience seven thousand members of the Neocatechumenal Way, including two hundred families who will shortly depart on the "missio ad gentes". "The task of the Pope is to confirm brothers in the faith", said the Holy Father. "You too, with this gesture, have asked Peter's Successor to confirm your calling, to support your mission, to bless your charism. And today I confirm your calling, I support your mission, and I bless your charism. Because I am happy to do so! Go in the name of Christ, and take his Gospel all round the world".
    As well as from the cardinals and bishops who accompanied the Neocatechumenals, the Pope also gave special greetings to the organisers of the Way: Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez, along with Fr. Mario Pezzi, and expressed his appreciation and encouragement "for all that, via the Way, you do for the good of the Church".
    "Our meeting today is a missionary response in obedience to Christ's instruction; 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptised will be saved'. And I am particularly content that this mission of yours will be carried out thanks to Christian families who, joined together in a community, have the mission of giving the signs of the faith that attract men to the beauty of the Gospel. ... These communities are formed of a presbyter and four or five families with children, some of whom are fully grown, and constitute a 'missio ad gentes', with a mandate to evangelise non-Christians. To those non-Christians who have never heard of Jesus Christ, and the many non-Christians who have forgotten who Jesus Christ was, who He was: non-Christians who have been baptised but have forgotten their faith on account of secularisation, worldliness and many other things. Let us reawaken that faith!"
    "Therefore, even prior to the word, it is your witness of life that demonstrates the heart of Christ's revelation: that God loves man to the extent of delivering Him to death, and that He was resurrected by the Father to give us the grace of offering our life to others. How much solitude, how much suffering, how much distance from God there is in many peripheries of Europe and America, and in many cities of Asia! How great is humanity's need, in every latitude, to hear that God loves us and that love is possible! These Christian communities, thanks to you, missionary families, have the essential task of making this message visible. And what is the message? 'Christ is risen, Christ lives! Christ lives among us!'"
    "You have received the strength to leave everything and to depart for distant lands thanks to a path of Christian initiation, lived in small communities, where you have rediscovered the immense richness of your Baptism. This is the Neocatechumenal Way, a true gift of Providence to the Church in our time", affirmed the Pope, "which rests on the three dimensions of the Church: the Word, the Liturgy and the Community. Therefore, obediently and constantly listening to the Word of God; the Eucharistic celebration in small communities after the first Vespers of Sunday; the celebration of Lauds within the family on Sunday with all children, and the sharing of faith with other brothers are at the origin of the many gifts that the Lord has bestowed to you, along with many vocations to the presbytery and to consecrated life".
    "On a number of occasions I have insisted on the need for the Church to pass from a pastoral ministry of simple conversion to a decisively missionary pastoral ministry. How often, in the Church, do we hold Jesus inside but fail to let Him out? This is the most important thing to do if we do not want the waters of the Church to stagnate. The Way has been carrying out this 'missio ad gentes' amid non-Christians for years now, by means of an 'implantatio Ecclesiae', a new presence of the Church, where the Church does not exist or is unable to reach people. 'What joy you give us through your presence and your activity!', exclaimed Blessed Paul VI in his first audience with you. I too offer you these words and encourage you to continue, entrusting you to the Holy Virgin Mary who inspired the Neocatechumenal Way".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Telegram for the death of Cardinal Edward M. Egan
    Vatican City, 6 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A., for the death of Cardinal Edward M. Egan, archbishop emeritus of the same diocese. He recalls with gratitude "his years of episcopal ministry among Christ's flock in Bridgeport and New York, his distinguished service to the Apostolic See, and his expert contribution to the revision of the Church's law in the years following the Vatican Council II", and, commending the late Cardinal's soul to God, imparts his apostolic blessing to all those participating in his funeral, held in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Bishop Renato Corti is the author of the meditations for the stations of the 2015 Via Crucis
    Vatican City, 6 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today announced that the texts for the stations of the Via Crucis on Good Friday at the Colosseum have been prepared on behalf of the Holy Father by Bishop Renato Corti, emeritus of Novara, Italy, according to the traditional format of the fourteen stations.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Promoting a Europe based on the sacred nature of the human being
    Vatican City, 5 March 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, gave an address in Bratislava, Slovakia today, during the meeting of the legal advisers of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe, (C.E.C.E.). The prelate focused on the challenges the Church faces today, and on Pope Francis' two addresses to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe on 25 November 2014.
    Archbishop Gallagher emphasised that "at the centre of the Pope's considerations in Strasbourg was his affirmation of the dignity of the human person" and respect for human rights not for political reasons, but because "they are engraved in the heart of every human person". He continued, "the Pope reminds us of the Christian roots of our continent ... and exhorts the members of the European Parliament as the time has come to work together in building a Europe that revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values", and added, "the time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe that is fearful and self-absorbed, in order to revive and encourage a Europe of leadership, a repository of science, art, music, human values and faith as well".
    He went on to highlight the worrying conditions of migrants who seek protection for their lives and families on our continent, a major challenge for Europe which greatly concerns the Pope. "The absence of mutual support within the European Union runs the risk of encouraging particularistic solutions to the problem, solutions which fail to take into account the human dignity of immigrants, and thus contribute to slave labour and continuing social tensions. ... Christianity has to perform her mission in Europe, and the Cathlic Church especially, in which the unity of cultural differences is found, can offer tangible help to unite and strengthen the national family of Europe".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 6 March 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
    - Archbishop Fernando Natalio Chomali Garib, archbishop of Concepcion, apostolic administrator "sede vacante" of Osorno, Chile.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 6 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Augusto Paolo Lojudice as auxiliary of the diocese of Rome (area 849, population 2,885,272, Catholics 2,365,923, priests 4834, permanent deacons 122, religious 27,727), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Rome, Italy in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar in the parishes of "Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio" and "San Virgilio", parish priest of the parish "Santa Maria Madre del Redentore a Tor Bella Monaca", and spiritual father of the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary. He is currently parish priest of the "San Luca al Prenestino" parish.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Mar 6 23:03:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 046
    DATE 05-03-2015

    Summary:
    - To the Academy for Life: abandonment is the worst affliction for the elderly - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    To the Academy for Life: abandonment is the worst affliction for the elderly
    Vatican City, 5 March 2015 (VIS) - "Palliative care expresses the typically human attitude of caring for each other, especially for those who suffer. It is the demonstration that the human person always remains precious, even when elderly or afflicted by illness. Indeed, the person is in any circumstance valuable to himself and to others, and loved by God. Therefore, when life becomes very fragile and the end of earthly life comes close, we feel the responsibility to look after and accompany the person in the best way possible", said the Pope this morning, as he received in audience the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, on the occasion of their general assembly on the theme "Assisting the elderly and palliative care".
    "The biblical commandment to honour our parents reminds us in a broader sense of our duty to honour all elderly people. God links a dual promise to this commandment: 'so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you'. Obedience to this commandment ensures not only the gift of the land, but above all the possibility of making use of it. ... The precept reveals to us the fundamental pedagogic relationship between parents and children, between the elderly and the young, with reference to the stewardship and transmission of religious teaching and wisdom to future generations. Honour this teaching, and those who transmit it are a source of life and blessing. On the contrary, the Bible severely admonishes those who neglect or mistreat their parents".
    "The Word of God is always living and we can see clearly how the commandment proves to be relevant to contemporary society, in which the logic of utility often takes precedence over that of solidarity and gratuitousness, even within families", he continued. "'To honour' may be translated as the duty to have extreme respect and take care of those who, on account of their physical or social condition, could be left - or made - to die. Medicine has a special role within society as testimony to the honour due to an elderly person and to every human being. Evidence and efficiency cannot be the only criteria governing the work of doctors, and nor can the rules of healthcare systems and economic profit. A State cannot expect to profit from medicine".
    The Bishop of Rome remarked that the Assembly of the Academy for Life has studied new sectors for the application of palliative care which until now have been of valuable assistance to cancer patients. However, it may now be applied to a wide range of illnesses, often linked to old age and characterised by chronic and progressive degeneration. "The elderly need, first and foremost, the care of their families - whose affection cannot be substituted even by the most efficient structures or by the most competent and charitable healthcare workers", he emphasised. Palliative care is "an important help for the elderly who, for reasons of seniority, receive less attention in terms of curative medicine and are often neglected. Abandonment is the most serious 'malady' to afflict the elderly, and also the greatest injustice they can suffer; those who have helped us to grow should not be abandoned when they need our help, our love, our tenderness".
    Francis concluded his address by encouraging healthcare professionals and medical students to specialise in this type of care, "which does not have less value on account of the fact that it is not 'lifesaving'. Palliative care involves something equally important: it accentuates the value of the person. Therefore, I urge all those who, in various ways, work in this sector to carry out their task in the spirit of service and recalling that all medical knowledge is truly science, in its most noble sense, only if it may assist the good of mankind, which can never be achieved by opposing life and dignity".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 5 March 2015 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Thomas Yeh Sheng-nan, apostolic nuncio in Algeria and Tunisia;
    - Archbishop Eugene Martin Nugent, apostolic nuncio in Haiti;
    - Archbishop Marek Solczynski, apostolic nuncio in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan;
    - Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 5 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Herve Giraud of Soissons, France as archbishop of Sens (area 7,427, population 342,724, Catholics 208,900, priests 106, permanent deacons 21, religious 180), France, and prelate of the territorial prelature of "Mission de France" o Pontigny. He succeeds Bishop Yves Patenotre, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa as apostolic nuncio in Honduras. The archbishop is currently apostolic nuncio in Angola, Santo Tome and Principe.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Mar 10 09:01:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 049
    DATE 10-03-2015

    Summary:
    - Collecta pro Terra Sancta: an invaluable opportunity to help Christians uprooted from their homelands
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Collecta pro Terra Sancta: an invaluable opportunity to help Christians uprooted from their homelands
    Vatican City, 10 March 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, has written a letter addressed to all bishops worldwide in view of the "Collecta pro Terra Sancta", the collection for the communities of faithful and places in the Holy Land, which traditionally takes place on Good Friday. The letter is also signed by Archbishop Cyril Vasil, S.J., secretary of the same dicastery.
    The cardinal, noting that the region is passing through a time of crisis, writes: "Presently, there are millions of refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, where the roar of arms does not cease and the way of dialogue and concord seems to be completely lost. Senseless hatred seems to prevail instead, along with the helpless desperation of those who have lost everything and have been expulsed from the land of their ancestors. If the Christians of the Holy Land are encouraged to resist, to the degree possible, the understandable temptation to flee, the faithful throughout the world are asked to take their plight to heart. Also involved are brothers in Christ who belonged to various confessions: an ecumenism of blood which points toward the triumph of unity: 'ut unum sint'! This year presents a still more precious opportunity to become pilgrims in faith after the example of the Holy Father, who in May of last year visited this patch of land, so dear to Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. It is a chance to become promoters of dialogue through peace, prayer and sharing of burdens".
    The territories that will benefit from the Collection, in different ways and to differing extents, are: Jerusalem, Palestine and Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
    A document prepared by the Custodian of the Holy Land lists the works carried out as a result of the 2014 Collecta. The emergency funds were distributed mostly in Syria and Iraq. Assistance was also provided for artisanal enterprises in Jordan; funding was given for parish communities, the reconstruction and restoration of places of interest and medical assistance in Bethlehem; and apartments were built in Jerusalem for poor families and young couples who wish to remain in the Holy Land. The remaining funds were used for projects involving schools, universities and cultural works, through the Custodian of the Holy Land, such as the Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology of the Studium Biblicum Francescanum of Jerusalem and the Franciscan Media Centre, and for the maintenance and restoration of the Holy Places.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 10 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - confirmed Archbishop Piero Marini as president of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Councils.
    - appointed the following members of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Councils: Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; and Rev. Fr. Juan Javier Flores Arcas, O.S.B., Spain, Magnificent Rector of the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Sat Mar 14 07:36:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 052
    DATE 14-03-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope announces an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope announces an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy
    Vatican City, 14 March 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday, 13 March 2015, in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis declared the celebration of an extraordinary Holy year. The Jubilee announcement was made during the homily of the penitential celebration with which he opened the "24 Hours for the Lord" initiative. This "Jubilee of Mercy" will commence with the opening of the Holy Door in the Vatican Basilica on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, and
    will conclude on November 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
    King of the Universe.
    The papal Bull will be made public on Divine Mercy Sunday, 12 April, the Feast
    day instituted by St. John Paul II and celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Mar 17 08:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXV - # 54
    DATE 17-03-2015

    Summary:
    - Pope Expresses his Nearness to the Bishops and People of Nigeria
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Expresses his Nearness to the Bishops and People of Nigeria
    Vatican City, 17 March, 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis has written a letter to the Bishops of Nigeria ensuring them of his nearness to all those in that country. Although Nigeria has one of the strongest economies in all of Africa, it is facing new and violent forms of extremism and fundamentalism that tragically affect the society as a whole. The letter, published today, is dated 2 March, 2015. Following is the full text of the letter:
    While we walk this Lenten journey towards the Resurrection of the Lord united with the whole Church, I wish to extend to you, dear Archbishops and Bishops of
    Nigeria, a fraternal greeting, which I extend to the beloved Christian communities entrusted to your pastoral care. I would also like to share some thoughts with you on the current situation in your country.
    Nigeria, known as the ''African giant'', withits more than 160 million inhabitants, is set to play a primary role, not only in Africa but in the world
    at large. In recent years, it has experienced robust growth in the economic sphere and has again reasserted itself on the world stage as an attractive market, on account of its natural resources as well as its commercial potential.
    It is now considered officially the single largest African economy. It has also
    distinguished itself as a political player widely committed to the resolution of
    crisis situations in the continent.
    At the same time, your nation has had to confront considerable problems, among them new and violent forms of extremism and fundamentalism on ethnic, social and
    religious grounds. Many Nigerians have been killed, wounded or mutilated, kidnapped and deprived of everything: their loved ones, their land, their means
    of subsistence, their dignity and their rights. Many have not been able to return to their homes. Believers, both Christian andMuslim, have experienced a common tragic outcome, at the hands of people who claim to be religious, but who
    instead abuse religion, to make of it an ideology for their own distorted interests of exploitation and murder.
    I would like to assure you and all who suffer of my closeness. Every day I remember you in my prayers and I repeat here, for your encouragement and comfort, the consoling words of the Lord Jesus, which must always resound in our
    hearts: ''Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you''.
    Peace ? as you know so well ? is not only the absence of conflict or the result
    of political compromise or fatalistic resignation. Peace is for us a gift which
    comes from on high; it is Jesus Christ himself, the Prince of Peace, who has made of two peoples one (cf. Eph 2:14). And only the man or woman who treasures
    the peace of Christ as a guiding light and way of life can become a peacemaker (cf. Mt 5:9).
    At the same time, peace is a daily endeavour, a courageous and authentic effort
    to favour reconciliation, to promote experiences of sharing, to extend bridges of dialogue, to serve the weakest and the excluded. In a word, peace consists in
    building up a ''culture of encounter''.
    And so I wish here to express my heartfelt thanks to you, because in the midst of so many trials and sufferings the Church in Nigeria does not cease to witness
    to hospitality, mercy and forgiveness. How can we fail to remember the priests,
    religious men and women, missionaries and catechists who, despite untold sacrifices, never abandoned their flock, but remained at their service as good and faithful heralds of the Gospel? To them, most particularly, I would like to
    express my solidarity, and to say: do not grow tired of doing what is right!
    We give thanks to the Lord for them, as for so many men and women of every social,cultural and religious background, who with great willingness stand up in
    concrete ways to every form of violence, and whose efforts are directed at favouring a more secure and just future for all. They offer us moving testimonies, which, as Pope Benedict XVI recalled at the end of the Synod for Africa, show ''the power of the Spirit to transform the hearts of victims and their persecutors and thus to re-establish fraternity'' .
    Dear Brother Bishops, in perseverance and without becoming discouraged, go forward on the way of peace . Accompany the victims! Come to the aid of the poor! Teach the youth! Become promoters of a more just and fraternal society!
    I gladly impart to you my Apostolic Blessing, which I ask you to extend to priests, religious, missionaries, catechists, lay faithful and above all to those suffering members of the Body of Christ.
    May the Resurrection of the Lord bring conversion,reconciliation and peace to all the people of Nigeria! I commend you to Mary, Queen of Africa, and I ask you
    also to pray for me.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 17 March 2015 (VIS).-The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Giorgio
    Lingua, apostolic nuncio to Irak and Jordan, as apostolic nuncio to Cuba.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Mar 18 09:13:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXV - # 055
    DATE 18-03-2015

    Summary:
    - General Audience: Children, Gift to Humanity, Remind Us that We Need Help, Love, and Forgiveness
    - Promulgation of Decrees by Congregation for Causes of Saints
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    General Audience: Children, Gift to Humanity, Remind Us that We Need Help, Love, and Forgiveness
    Vatican City, 18 March, 2015 (VIS) ? Having examined the various members of family life?mothers, fathers, children, siblings, grandparents?the Pope concluded this first section of catechesis on the family by talking about children. Today he focused on what a great gift children are for humanity, and next week he will speak about wounds that damage childhood.
    Interrupted by the applause of the faithful gathered in St. Peter?s Square when
    he affirmed that ?children are a gift to humanity?, Pope Francis thanked them and exclaimed: ?but they are also a greatly excluded one because they are even not allowed to be born?a society can be judged, not only morally but also sociologically, on how it treats its children, if it is a free society or a slave society of international interests.?
    Then, continuing with hiscatechesis he explained that ?firstly, children remind
    us that we all, in the first years of life, are totally dependent on the care and kindness of others. The Son of God,? he emphasized, ?was not spared this step. This is the mystery that we contemplate every year at Christmastime. The manger scene is the icon that communicates this reality in the most simple and direct way.?
    ?God,? he continued, ?has no difficulty in being understood by children and children have no trouble in understanding God. It isn?t by chance that in the Gospels Jesus speaks beautiful and strong words about the ?little ones?. This term indicates all persons who depend on the help of others, particularly children. ?Children, therefore, are a treasure for humanity and also for the Church because they constantly remind us of the necessary condition for entering
    into the Kingdom of God: that we must not consider ourselves self-sufficient, but in need of help, of love, andof forgiveness.?
    Children also remind us that we are always children even when we become adults or if we become parents; beneath it all we keep our identity as a child. ?And this always leads us back to the fact that we are not given life, but that we have received it,? the Pope reminded. ?The great gift of life is the first gift
    we have received. Sometimes we risk forgetting about this, as if we were the masters of our existence while instead we are radically dependent. In fact, it is a source of great joy to hear that at every age in life, in every situation,
    in every social condition, we are and remain sons and daughters. This is the main message that children give us with their presence: with just their presence
    they remind us that each and every one of us is a child.?
    Listing some of the other gifts that children bring to humanity the Pope highlighted their way of seeing reality, ?with a confident and pure gaze. Children have aspontaneous trust in mom and dad and they have a spontaneous trust in God, in Jesus, and in the Madonna. At the same time, their inner gaze is pure, not yet tainted by malice, duplicity, and the ?incrustation? of life that harden one?s heart. We know that even children have original sin, that they
    can be selfish, but they retain a purity and an inner simplicity. Children are not diplomats: they say what they feel, they say what they see, directly. And many times they make parents uncomfortable, saying in front of other people: ?I
    don?t like this because it?s ugly.? But children say what they see. They aren?t
    split persons; they still haven?t learned that science of duplicity that we adults have unfortunately learned.?
    Children also bring with them ability to receive and to give affection. ?Tenderness is having a heart ?of flesh? and not ?of stone?, as the Bible says,?
    Pope Francis noted. ?Tenderness is also poetry. It is?feeling? things and events, not treating them as mere objects only to use them because they they?re
    useful.?
    The ability to smile and to cry is another gift that children bring, one which ?we grown-ups often ?block out?? Many times our smile becomes a cardboard one, something lifeless and cold or even an artificial, clown?s smile. Children smile
    and cry spontaneously. It always comes from the heart, and often our hearts are
    closed and we lose this ability to smile and to cry. Children, then, can teach us how to smile and how to cry again. ? This is why Jesus invites his disciples
    to ?become like children? because ?the kingdom of God belongs to such as these?.?
    ?Children bring life, joy, hope, even troubles. But life is like that. They certainly also bring worries and, at times, many problems. But a society with these worries and problems is a better one than a society that is sad and gray because it is childless!And when we see a society with a birthrate of just 1%,?
    he concluded, ?we can say that that is a sad and gray society because it is without children.?
    On greeting pilgrims from English-speaking countries, the Pope was warmly hailed
    by students from The Catholic University of America and Loyola University Maryland who are studying in Rome for the semester

    ___________________________________________________________

    Promulgation of Decrees by Congregation for Causes of Saints
    Vatican City, 18 March 2015 (VIS) ? This morning the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
    - a MIRACLE, attributable to the intercession of the married couple Louis Martin, layman and father, born 22 August, 1823 in Bordeaux, France, died 29 July 1894 in Arnieres-sur-Iton, France and Marie-Azelie Guorin Martin, laywoman
    and mother, born 23 December 1831 in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, France, died 28 August 1877 in Alencon, France.
    HEROIC VIRTUES
    - Servant of God Francesco Gattola, diocesan priest and founder of the Daughters
    of the Most Holy Immaculate Virgin of Lourdes, born 19 September 1822 in Naples,
    Italy, died there 20 January 1899;
    - Servant of God Petar Barbaric,Jesuit novice, born 19 May 1874 in Klobuk, Bosnia and Herzegovina, died 15 April 1897 Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
    - Servant of God Mary Aikenhead, founder of the Religious Sisters of Charity of
    Ireland, born 19 January 1787 in Cork, Ireland, died 22 July 1858 in Dublin, Ireland;
    - Servant of God Elisa Baldo Foresti, widow, founder of the Holy Home of St. Joseph in Gavardo, and cofounder of the Humble Servants of the Lord, born 29 October 1862 in Gavardo, Italy, died 5 July in Brescia, Italy;
    - Servant of God Vincenta of the Passion of the Lord (nee Jadwiga Jaroszewska),
    founder of the Benedictine Samaritan Sisters of the Cross of Christ, born 7 March 1900 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, died 10 November in Warsaw, Poland).
    - Servant of God Juana of the Cross (nee Juana Vazquez Gutierrez) professed religious of the Franciscan Nuns of the Third Order Regular and Abbess of the Santa Maria de la Cruz conventin Cubas, born 3 May 1481 in Villa de Azana (today?s Numancia de la Sagra), Spain, died 3 May 1534 in Cubas de la Sagra, Spain;
    - Servant of God Maria Orsola Bussone, young layperson of the Focolare Movement,
    born 2 October 1954 in Vallo Torinese, Italy, died 10 July 1970 in Ca' Savio, Italy.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 18 March, 2015 (VIS) ? Today the Holy Father:
    - appointed Archbishop Esmeraldo Barreto de Farias as auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Sao Luis do Maranhao (area 13,112, population 1,378,000, Catholics 992,000, priests 75, religious 307), Brazil. He previously served as archbishop of Porto Velho, Brazil.
    - accepted the resignation of Dom Joseph Roduit, C.R., from the office of ordinary abbot of the territorial abbey of Saint-Maurice,Switzerland.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 18 March, 2015 (VIS) - We wish to inform our readers that tomorrow, Thursday 19 March, on the occasion of the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the
    Vatican Information Service bulletin will not be transmitted. The service will resume on Friday, 20 March. There will also be a newsletter transmitted this Saturday, 21 March, on the occasion of Pope Francis?s visit to Naples and Pompeii.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Mar 24 22:36:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 059
    DATE 24-03-2015

    Summary:
    - International vigil at St. Mary Major for the 20th anniversary of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae
    - Pope's Second lottery for charity
    - The Holy See: equality of access to education for girls
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    International vigil at St. Mary Major for the 20th anniversary of the encyclical Evangelium Vitae
    Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Family has organised an international vigil to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the
    publication of St. John Paul II's encyclical "Evangelium Vitae". According to press release from the dicastery, the event is a form of thanksgiving for the fruits of the pastoral care of life, and will also serve to spread the benefits
    of prayer for life as well as to recall eternal life, the destiny of every human
    being.
    The vigil will be divided into three stages: it will begin at 5 p.m. in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major, with an explanation of various artistic elements of the basilica relating to the theme of life. At 6 p.m. an original rosary will be prayed, focusing on the contemplation of the Gospel passages linked to the theme of life, interspersed with experiences related by the faithful. This will be followed, at 7 p.m., by a Eucharistic celebration presided by Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the
    Family, who comments that "the anniversary of the Encyclical and this vigil that
    commemorates it, on the eve of the Annunciation, is particularly meaningful as it makes manifest the intimate connection between the mystery of life and the experience of the family, made up of affection and social relationships. Defending life means participating in the alliance between God, man and woman".
    The international character of the vigil is accentuated by the participation of
    the shrines of Fatima, Lourdes and Guadalupe, where rosaries will be recited, dedicated to life, as part of the initiative "A rosary embraces the world".
    The Italian television channel Telepace will transmit live the events of the vigil from 5.15 p.m., while English-, French- and Italian-speaking viewers will
    be able to take part in the Holy Rosaries of Lourdes, according to the following
    schedule: at 2.30 p.m. (local time) the Rosary will be broadcast by the main American Catholic television channels; at 3.30 p.m. by the French Catholic channel KTO, and at 6 p.m. in Italy, by the broadcaster TV2000.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's Second lottery for charity
    Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has expressed his gratitude
    for the proceeds raised by the lottery in support of his works of charity, which
    took place in January. The entire sum has been consigned to Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, almoner of His Holiness. In view of the widespread participation and
    generosity of many people, Pope Francis has made more prizes available to enable
    the initiative to be repeated.
    The second lottery draw will take place on the solemnity of the Saints Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome, and the lucky numbers draw (each ticket costs 10 euros) is scheduled for 30 July, in the presence of a commission to guarantee the correct procedures. Prizes can be claimed during the following thirty days in the Department of Events Coordination of the Governorate of Vatican City State. Also on this occasion, like the first lottery, the proceeds will go directly to the Pope.
    Tickets will be available from the Vatican Pharmacy, the Post Office, the Vatican supermarket, the "Station" warehouse, the sales outlets of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, and the Vatican Museums bookshop.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See: equality of access to education for girls
    Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York, spoke on 13 March at the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which analysed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, with a view also to advancing women's empowerment and equality in a post-2015 development agenda.
    "There has been considerable progress for the cause of women in many countries,
    especially in the areas of education, political representation, and economic participation", said the nuncio. "In spite of the admirable efforts and significant advances, however, still too many women continue to face discrimination and many forms of violence just for being women".
    "The goal of eradicating poverty, in particular extreme poverty, is at the heart of the Holy See's concerns. The Catholic Church has nearly unparalleled experience of the needs of the poor through its bimillennial experience and through hundreds of thousands of programs and institutions serving poor women and men the world over", he continued. "The promotion of inclusive and equitable
    economies has a profound impact in advancing the status of women. Indeed, women
    are experiencing unique economic distress linked to unfair employment policies,
    unequal pay for equal work, the denial of access to credit and property, and victimisation in situations of conflicts and migration. Notwithstanding the fact
    that women constitute the majority of the poor and are affected by the burden of
    poverty in very specific ways, they are nevertheless courageously at the forefront in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty. From this perspective, the
    fight for the advancement of women must also mean assuring them equal access to
    resources, capital and technology".
    The archbishop underlined that "studies have demonstrated that fragile family structures and the decline of marriage among the poor are very closely linked to
    poverty among women. Single mothers are left alone to raise children. Many mothers in situations of distress fail to send their children to school, thus entangling them in the vicious circle of poverty and marginalisation. ... Numerous
    reports by the Secretary-General have highlighted the centrality of the family for poverty eradication and sustainable development".
    The Holy See takes note of the report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner
    for Human Rights on the problems and attacks girls continue to suffer in accessing education. "My delegation is convinced that the fight for equal access
    to education for girls, especially quality education, is an indispensable component in the fight for the advancement of women ... and reiterates Pope Francis' readiness of to work with all those who are seeking each day to build world that concretely treats women as equals, in the diversity of gifts and strengths, toward the greater common good of all".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 24 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Bertram Victor Wick Enzler, auxiliary of Guayaquil, Ecuador, as bishop of Santo
    Domingo en Ecuador (area 8,500, population 801,000, Catholics 685,000, priests 82, permanent deacons 2, religious 135), Ecuador.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Mar 26 21:21:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXV - # 61
    DATE 26-03-2015

    Summary:
    - Slogan and Logo of Pope?s Trip to Sarajevo Presented
    - Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Open to 150 Homeless Visitors
    - Carmelite Communities around the World Pray for Peace
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Slogan and Logo of Pope?s Trip to Sarajevo Presented
    Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? This coming 6 June, Pope Francis will visit
    Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The slogan of the visit will be ?Peace Be With You? and the logo is a dove with an olive branch. Concretely, the
    dove with olive branch, symbol of peace, is flanking a cross, part of which is stylized triangle symbolizing the country?s borders, with the colors of white, blue, yellow, and red representing both the country?s flag as well as the presence of Croats in the nation. It is the design of artists Miroslav Setka and
    Dragan Ivankovic.
    At the presentation, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Sarajevo, explained that the slogan and logo were inspired by the Pope?s words ?when he announced that the purpose of his visit would promote the peace process in Bosnia. Moreover, ?Peace Be With You? is the expression with which Jesus greeted thedisciples when He appeared to them after the Resurrection. The times we live
    in,? the cardinal said, ?are times of uncertainty regarding the future and that
    is why everyone in this country, especially we Catholics, needs this encouragement.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Open to 150 Homeless Visitors
    Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? One hundred and fifty homeless persons, generally found around St. Peter?s Square and Bernini?s Colonnade, will be guided around the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in an initiative undertaken
    by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, almoner of the Office of Papal Charities.
    The guests, divided into three groups, each with their own guides, will visit part of the Vatican City State, including the Domus Sanctae Marthae, St. Peter?s
    Basilica, the palace of the Mint, the gardens, and the Gate of St. Gregory. On arriving at the museums they will visit the Carriage Pavillion, the Galleries of
    the Chandeliers and Maps, and the Sistine Chapel. After the visit, the group will eat at the restaurant in the Vatican Museums.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Carmelite Communities around the World Pray for Peace
    Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? Carmelite communities around the world today-26 March, the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila, foundress of the Discalced Carmelite Order-are celebrating in the way deemed most appropriate and suitable, with a day of prayer for peace.
    ?Prayer for peace,? the Carmelite Vicar General, Fr. Emilio Martinez said, ?is gift that we offer to St. Teresa and what better than to do what she asked of us, which is to keep the concerns of the world at heart.?
    During the prayer, the communities will especially keep in mind persecuted Christians and countries at war, praying for the cessation of all public and domestic violence. The organizers of the day of prayer ask that each house and convent join the initiative and light a candle. Participation on social networks
    can be marked #Prayday.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 26 March 2015 (VIS) ? Today the Holy Father:
    - erected the eparchy of St. John Chrysostom of Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankars, India, appointing Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas Aerath, OIC, as its first eparchal bishop. Bishop Aerath was previously apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malankars extra-territorial missions in India. The new eparchy extends along the northern
    part of India, covering 22 of the 29 states. The district?s southern boundary is
    made up of the four central states of: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and
    Orissa. In addition to these four states, the faithful are distributed throughout Punjab, Rajashtan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. The eparchy is headquarted in Gurgaon because that metropolitan area has the largest concentration of faithful in the nine parishes covered. The region has two colleges and ten schools administrated by the Syro-Malankar church. It has 15priests, both regular and eparchal, and 30 religious carrying out its pastoral, educational, and charitable work.
    - erected the apostolic exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankars,
    India, appointing Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil as its first exarch.
    Bishop Valiyavilayil was previously curial bishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India. The new exarchate extends along the southern part of India, which previously did not have any ecclesial district of the Syro-Malankar
    church, and includes the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana together with parts of the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The extra-territorial mission of the Syro-Malankar church began in Poona in 1955 with the pastoral care of emigrants by Bethany Ashram, OIC. Today, the Syro-Malankar presence in the exarchate?s region includes 27 parishes and missions. There are 21 priests dedicated to pastoral care, 13 convents, and a dozen schoolsincluding a college of higher learning. The majority of the faithful are located around Mumbai and Poona, in the western state of Maharashtra.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Mar 31 08:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 064
    DATE 31-03-2015

    Summary:
    - Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee of Mercy: 11 April in St. Peter's Basilica - Pope Francis' prayer intentions for April
    - Declaration of the Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office
    - The Holy See on the Sustainable Development Goals
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee of Mercy: 11 April in St. Peter's Basilica
    Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) - Following the first announcement of the next extraordinary Holy Year by Pope Francis on 13 March, the Holy Father will proceed with the official indiction of the Jubilee of Mercy with the publication
    of the Bull of Indiction on Saturday 11 April, at 5.30 pm in St. Peter's Basilica.
    The rite of publication will involve the reading of various passages of the Bull before the Holy Door of the Vatican Basilica. Pope Francis will subsequently preside at the celebration of First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday,
    thus underlining in a particular way the fundamental theme of the extraordinary
    Holy Year: God's Mercy.
    The term bull (from the Latin bulla = bubble or, more generally, a rounded object) originally indicated the metal capsule used to protect the wax seal attached with a cord to a document of particular importance, to attest to its authenticity and, as a consequence, its authority. Over time, the term began to
    be used first to indicate the seal, then the document itself, so that nowadays it is used for all papal documents of special importance that bear, or at least
    traditionally would have borne, the Pontiff's seal.
    The bull for the indiction of a jubilee, for instance in the case of an extraordinary Holy Year, aside from indicating its time, with the opening and closing dates and the main ways in which it will be implemented, constitutes the
    fundamental document for recognising the spirit in which it is announced, and the intentions and the outcomes hoped for by the Pontiff, who invokes it for the
    Church.
    In the case of the last two extraordinary Holy Years, 1933 and 1983, the Bull of Indiction was published on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. For the next extraordinary Holy Year, the choice of the occasion on which the publication of the Bull will take place clearly demonstrates the Holy
    Father's particular attention to the theme of Mercy.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' prayer intentions for April
    Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for April is: "That people may learn to respect creation and care for
    it as a gift of God".
    His intention for evangelisation is: "That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration of the Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office
    Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) - The Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., today issued the following declaration:
    "Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros
    Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate's candidature and did not find objective reasons precluding
    the appointment".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See on the Sustainable Development Goals
    Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York, spoke at the session dedicated to intergovernmental negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda,
    held on 24 March.
    The prelate expressed his appreciation for the "ambitious and compelling nature" of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and his conviction of the need for a "transformative and action-oriented post-2015 agenda". "Moreover", he
    continued, "we SDGs must integrate in a balanced manner the three pillars of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental development - with
    an overarching focus on the eradication of poverty and the achievement of a life
    of dignity for all. It is imperative that the SDGs focus more on the needs of the most vulnerable countries, notably the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land-Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with particular attention to the sectors of the populations where poverty is most pervasive, to those regions where armed conflicts continue to block even the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - and indeed cause further regression towards underdevelopment - and to those areas most affected by natural disasters.
    The Holy See delegation, affirmed the Archbishop, "is fully aware that SDGs are
    a carefully and purposefully crafted package to respond to the desires of the stakeholders", and therefore does not support "the technical proofing of the goals and targets, as it may lead to the re-opening and re-negotiating of what is already a politically balanced agreement acceptable to the great majority of
    the stakeholders". Furthermore, results and progress if the SDGs are implemented
    "would have to be assessed and verified against indicators agreed by the stakeholders themselves".
    "Therefore", he continued, "my delegation takes note of the work of the UN Statistical Commission in providing a preliminary list of indicators for the SDGs and targets. We further emphasise that the development of evidence-based indicators should continue to be carried out in an open and transparent manner and guided by Member States. These indicators should not upset the political balance of the SDGs, nor should they serve to impose ideas or ideologies that do
    not find consensus under the outcome of the Open Working Groups (OWGs)".
    Archbishop Auza concluded by indicating that certain goals and targets "are understood differently in different cultural and religious contexts and will translate differently into their national policies and legislation. We believe the indicators must take these differences into consideration and be drafted in
    a way that allows countries to assess their results in a way that both reflects
    and respects their national values, as well as is consistent with their national
    policies and legislation. ... My delegation strongly believes that the indicators
    should be global, while taking into consideration the national and regional specificities, especially different capacities. Indicators cannot be unrealistic
    figures that only, or not even, developed countries can achieve".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Fr. Christophe Amade, M. Afr., as bishop of Kalemie-Kirungu (area 71,577, population 5,950,013, Catholics 3,663,230, priests 100, religious 125), Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Mune, Democratic
    Republic of the Congo in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He studied theology at the London Missionary Institute, England, and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has exercised his
    pastoral ministry in Funsi in the diocese of Wa, Ghana, and has served as lecturer and subsequently rector of the Consortium of Philosophy in Jinja, Uganda, and lecturer in philosophy at the Consortium of Philosophy in Kumasi, Ghana and at the St. Augustin University, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is currently provincial superior of the Society of the Missionaries of
    Africa ("White Fathers") for Central Africa.
    - Fr. Donatien Bafuidinsoni, S.J., and Msgr. Jean-Pierre Kwambamba Masi as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Kinshasa (area 8,500, population 10,516,000, Catholics 5,830,000, priests 1166, religious 3,643), Democratic Republic of the
    Congo. Bishop-elect Bafuidinsoni is currently judicial vicar of the same archdiocese; Bishop-elect Kwambamba Masi, currently of the clergy of Kenge, is an official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
    - Rev. Fr. Giorgio Demetrio Gallaro as bishop of Piana degli Albanese di Sicilia (area 420, population 30,500, Catholics 29,000, priests 28, permanent deacons 4, religious 159), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Pozzallo, Italy in 1948 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He holds a doctorate in oriental canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome, and a licentiate in ecumenical theology from the Pontifical Institute of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome. In the U.S.A. he has served in pastoral and academic roles in
    the Melkite eparchy of Newton, Massachusetts, the Ukrainian eparchy of Stamford,
    Connecticut, and the Ruthenian archieparchy of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is currently syncellus for canonical affairs and judicial vicar in the archieparchy
    of Pittsburgh, lecturer in canon law and ecumenical theology at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, and judge of appeal
    for the archieparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians.
    - Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
    - Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Koln, Germany, as member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Apr 1 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 065
    DATE 01-04-2015

    Summary:
    - Easter Triduum: peak of the liturgical year and of Christian life
    - Ten years since the death of St. John Paul II
    - Tax agreement between the Holy See and the Italian Republic
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    Easter Triduum: peak of the liturgical year and of Christian life
    Vatican City, 1 April 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis dedicated the catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience to the Easter Triduum, the culmination of the
    liturgical year, "and of our life as Christians", which begins tomorrow, Holy Thursday, with the celebration of the Last Supper, in which Jesus offers His Body and Blood to the Father, in the Bread and Wine, and instructs us to perpetuate this offering in His memory.
    "The Gospel of this ceremony, recalling the washing of the feet, expresses the
    same meaning of the Eucharist from another perspective", said the Holy Father to
    the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. "Jesus, like a servant, washes the
    feet of Simon Peter ad the other eleven disciples. With this prophetic gesture he expresses the meaning of His life and His passion, as service to God and to His brothers. ... This also happens in our Baptism, when the grace of God cleanses
    us of sin and we are clothed in Christ. This happens every time we commemorate the Lord in the Eucharist: we make communion with Christ the Servant to obey His
    commandment, that of loving each other as He has loved us. If we partake in holy
    Communion without being sincerely willing to wash each other's feet, we do not recognise the Body of the Lord".
    In the liturgy of Good Friday we consider the mystery of the death of Christ and we worship the Cross. "In the final moments of life, before delivering his spirit to the Father, Christ said, 'It is finished'. ... This means that the work
    of salvation is complete, that all the Scriptures find their fulfilment in the love of Christ, the sacrificial lamb. Jesus, by His sacrifice, transformed the greatest wickedness into the greatest love".
    The Pontiff commented that throughout the centuries men and women have, by the
    witness of their existence, "reflected a ray of this perfect, full, uncontaminated love", offering the example of a heroic witness of our times, the
    Italian priest and missionary in Turkey Andrea Santoro, who shortly before being
    murdered in the church of Trebisonda on 5 February 2006, wrote: "I am here to live among these people and to let Jesus do so, lending Him my flesh. ... We become capable of salvation only by offering our own flesh. The evil of the world must be borne and pain shared, absorbed in one's own flesh unto the end, as Jesus did". "This example, and many others, sustain us in offering our own life as a gift of love to our brethren, in imitation of Jesus", exclaimed the Pope.
    On Holy Saturday, "the Church contemplates Christ's 'repose' in the tomb after
    the victorious battle of the Cross. On Holy Saturday the Church once again identifies with Mary: all our faith is encompassed in her, the first and perfect
    disciple, the first and perfect believer. In the darkness that enshrouds Creation, she alone keeps the flame of faith alight, hoping against all hope in
    Jesus' Resurrection".
    On the great Easter Vigil, "we celebrate the Risen Christ as the centre and end
    of the cosmos and of history; we stay awake to await His return, when Easter will manifest itself fully. At times, the darkness of night seems to penetrate the soul; at times we think, 'there is no longer anything to be done', and the heart no longer finds the strength to love. ... But it is precisely in that darkness that Christ lights the flame of God's love: a gleam that breaks through
    the darkness, presage of a new beginning. The stone of suffering is overturned,
    making space for hope. This is the great mystery of Easter! On this holy night the Church gives to us the light of the Resurrection, so that we no longer have
    inside us the regret of saying 'by now...', but rather the hope of one who opens
    up to a present full of the future: Christ has defeated death, and we are with Him. Our life does not end at the tombstone!".
    "During these days of the Holy Triduum, let us limit ourselves to commemorating
    the Lord's passion, but let us instead enter into the mystery, making His feelings and His attitudes our own, as the Apostle Paul tells us: 'Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus'. Then ours will be a happy Easter".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Ten years since the death of St. John Paul II
    Vatican City, 1 April 2015 (VIS) - In his greetings following today's catechesis, the Pope recalled that tomorrow will be the tenth anniversary of the
    death of St. John Paul II. "We remember him as a great witness to Christ in His
    suffering, death and resurrection, and invoke his intercession for us, for the family, for the Church, so that the light of resurrection may shine over all the
    shadows of our life and fill us with joy and peace".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Tax agreement between the Holy See and the Italian Republic
    Vatican City, 1 April 2015 (VIS) - This morning, in the Secretariat of State, an agreement on fiscal matters was signed by the Holy See and the Italian Republic. It was signed on behalf of the Holy See by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, and for the Italian Republic by
    Pier Carlo Padoan, minister of Economics and Finance, with full powers.
    The reforms introduced in 2010 and the creation by the Holy See of institutions
    with specific experience in economics and finance now enable full administrative
    cooperation, also with regard to fiscal matters. Within the framework of the special importance of bilateral relations, Italy is the first country with which
    the Holy See has signed an agreement governing the exchange of information.
    In accordance with the current process of establishing transparency in the field of financial relations at a global level, the Convention transposes the most up to date international standard in terms of the exchange of information (article 26 of the OSCE Model) to regulate cooperation between the competent authorities of the two contracting Parties. The exchange of information relates
    to the fiscal year starting 1 January 2009.
    The Convention, from the date on which it enters into force, will enable full compliance, with simplified procedures, with the tax obligations relating to financial assets held by institutions engaging in financial activities in the Holy See by various physical and legal persons resident in Italy. The same persons will be able to have access to a procedure for the regularisation of these activities, with the same effects as established by Law 186/2014.
    The Convention will also implement the provisions of the Lateran Treaty regarding tax exemption for property belonging to the Holy See, indicated in the
    same Treaty.
    Finally, the Convention incorporates the Exchange of notes between the Ministry
    for Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat of State in July 2007, which provides for the notification of tax acts to the Holy See authorities via diplomatic channels.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 1 April 2015 (VIS) - During the Holy Week festivities, from Thursday 2 to Tuesday 7 April, the Vatican Information Service bulletin will not
    be transmitted. Readers can find the texts of the Easter Triduum and Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord in the Holy See Press Office Bulletin. Service will
    resume on Wednesday 8 April.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Apr 9 07:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 067
    DATE 09-04-2015

    Summary:
    - Francis receives the president of the Slovak Republic, 25 years after the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Holy See
    - The Holy Father addresses the Patriarchal Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church
    - Presentation of the Holy See pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale
    - Audiences

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis receives the president of the Slovak Republic, 25 years after the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Holy See
    Vatican City, 9 April 2015 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the president of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska, who subsequently met with Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States, in the Secretariat of State.
    During the cordial discussions, which took place shortly before the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and
    the then Czech and Slovak Federative Republic on 19 April 1990 following St. John Paul II's visit to the country, satisfaction was expressed for the good bilateral relations sealed by the Agreements in force and by the fruitful dialogue between the Church and the civil authorities.
    The Parties then turned their attention to the current International context, with particular attention to the challenges affecting certain areas of the world, especially the Middle East, and the importance of the protection of the dignity of the human person.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy Father addresses the Patriarchal Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church
    Vatican City, 9 April 2015 (VIS) - This morning Pope Francis received in audience twenty bishops of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church, who will attend next Sunday's Holy Mass to be celebrated for faithful of Armenian rite in
    St. Peter's Basilica, during which St. Gregory of Narek will be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.
    In the discourse he addressed to the bishops, the Holy Father remarked that on
    Sunday they will "raise a prayer of Christian intercession for the sons and daughters of your beloved people, who were made victims a hundred years ago", and invoked Divine Mercy "so that it might help all, in the love for truth and justice, to heal every wound and to expedite concrete gestures of reconciliation
    and peace between the nations that still have not managed to reach a reasonable
    consensus on the interpretation of these sad events".
    Francis greeted all the clergy and lay faithful of the Armenian Catholic Church, many of whom have accompanied the bishops to Rome in these days, as well
    as "those who live in the countries of the diaspora, such as the United States,
    Latin America, Europe, Russia, Ukraine, up to the Motherland". He added, "I think with particular sadness of those areas, such as that of Aleppo, that a hundred years ago were a safe haven for the few survivors. In such regions the stability of Christians, not only Armenians, has latterly been placed in danger".
    "Your people, whom tradition recognises as the first to convert to Christianity
    in 301, has a two thousand-year history and preserves an admirable patrimony of
    spirituality and culture, united with a capacity for recovery amid the many persecutions and trials to which it has been subjected. I invite you always to cultivate a sentiment of acknowledgement of the Lord, for having been capable of
    maintaining fidelity to Him even during the most difficult periods. It is important, furthermore, to ask of God the gift of wisdom of the heart: the commemoration of the victims of a hundred years ago indeed places us before the
    darkness of the mysterium iniquitatis".
    "As the Gospel tells us, from the depths of the human heart there may emerge the darkest powers, capable of planning the systematic annihilation of one's brother, of considering him an enemy, an adversary, or even without the same human dignity", he observed. "But for believers the issue of the evil committed
    by man also introduces the mystery of participation in the redemptive Passion: number of sons and daughters of the Armenian nation were capable of pronouncing
    Christ's name to the point of shedding their blood or of death by starvation during the interminable exodus they were forced to undertake".
    "The painful pages in the history of your people continue, in a certain sense,
    the Passion of Christ, but in each one of these there is also the germ of the Resurrection. There is no lack of commitment among you, Pastors, to the education of the lay faithful to enable them to interpret reality with new eyes,
    in order to be able to say every day: my people consists not only of those who suffer for Christ, but above all of those who are risen in Him. Therefore it is
    important to remember the past, in order to draw from it the new lymph needed to
    nurture the present with the glorious announcement of the Gospel and with the witness of charity. I encourage you to support the path of continuing formation
    of priests and consecrated persons. They are your first collaborators; the communion between them and you will be strengthened by the exemplary fraternity
    they may observe in the Synod and with the Patriarch".
    The Pope expressed his gratitude to those who made efforts to alleviate the sufferings of their ancestors, making special reference to Pope Benedict XV "who
    intervened before the Sultan Mehmet V to bring an end to the massacre of the Armenians", and who was "a great friend of the Christian Orient: he established
    the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, and in 1920 he inscribed St. Ephrem the Syrian among the Doctors of the Universal Church". Francis continued, "I am pleased that our meeting takes place on the eve of the same gesture I will have the pleasure of performing on Sunday regarding the great figure of St. Gregory of Narek".
    "To his intercession, I entrust in particular the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Armenian Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church, aware of the fact that the 'ecumenism of blood' has already been achieved through the martyrdom and persecution that took place one hundred years ago", he concluded.
    "I now invoke the Lord's blessing upon you and your faithful, and I ask you not
    to forget to pray for me".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Holy See pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale
    Vatican City, 9 April 2015 (VIS) - "In the beginning ... the Word became Flesh"
    is the name of the Holy See's pavilion at the upcoming 56th Venice Biennale of Art (9 May to 22 November 2015), which was presented this morning by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and commissioner of the Pavilion, along with Paolo Baratta, president of the Biennale and Micol Forte, curator of the Vatican Museums Collection of Contemporary Art and of the pavilion.
    During the press conference, held in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Ravasi
    explained that, continuing from the theme of the Holy See's first contribution to the 2013 Venice Biennale, the 2015 pavilion will see to re-establish the dialogue between art and faith and the need to examine, especially at an international level, the relationship between the Church and contemporary art. "Continuing from the first edition, the Holy See pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale will develop the theme of the 'Beginning', with an itinerary leading from the Old to the New Testament, making 'logos' and 'flesh' the terms of a relationship constantly in progress".
    "The reference to Genesis, understood as Creation, De-Creation, Re-Creation, in
    2013 constituted the object of a reflection that is now further developed in the
    Prologue of the Gospel of John. In this latter, two essential poles are highlighted: the transcendent Word that is 'in the Beginning', and at the same time, reveals the dialogical and communicational nature of the God of Jesus Christ; and the Word that becomes 'flesh', body, bringing the presence of God into the essence of humanity, especially where it appears to be wounded and suffering. The 'vertical-transcendent' dimension and the 'horizontal-immanent' dimension of flesh thus constitute in this sense the axes of research. It is necessary to refer to these axes - and their intersection - to understand the individual works and the dialogue that is interwoven between them within the exhibition space.
    Micol Forti presented the works and artists represented in the Pavilion, remarking that the "indissoluble bond between 'logos' and 'flesh' produces a dialectic dynamism ... that inspires, in artists as well as in the public, reflection on the binomial that is at the root of humanity. The three artists, all young, of differing provenance, experience, ethical and aesthetic vision, have been required to flesh out the idea evoked in the Prologue of the Gospel of
    John". They include the Colombian Monika Bravo who, Forti explained, "has developed a narrative, deconstructed and recomposed on six screens and the same
    number of transparent panels, positioned on strongly coloured walls. In each composition, Nature, the Word (written and spoken) and artistic abstraction are
    presented as active elements of heuristic vision, open to a margin of experimental indeterminacy in the development of a new perceptive space and sensory fullness".
    The Macedonian Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva has designed a "monumental, architectural
    installation, whose 'fabric', almost a sort of skin or mantle, welcomes the visitor in a dimension that is simultaneously physical and symbolic. [The work is] made of organic waste material, in a journey from 'ready-made' to 're-made'". Forti continued, "Flesh transforms into history in the reality offered without falsification" by the photographer Mario Macilau, from Mozambique. The series of nine black and white photographs taken in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, depicts the street children who at a young age are compelled to face life in terms of survival. "It is not a photo-reportage, but rather a poetic work that reverses the connections between now and before, near
    and far, the visible and what cannot be seen".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 9 April 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secreteriat for the Economy;
    - Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia - Citta della Pieve, Italy;
    - Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, apostolic nuncio in Australia;
    - Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Apr 15 20:07:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 071
    DATE 15-04-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: the complementarity between man and woman
    - Pope's telegram for the death of Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J.
    - Ninth meeting of the Council of Cardinals
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: the complementarity between man and woman
    Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by dedicating this morning's general audience to the difference and complementarity between man and woman, recalling first of all that the Book of Genesis insists that both are the image and semblance of God. "Not only man as such, not only woman as such, but rather man and woman, as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between them is not a question of contrast or subordination, but instead of communion and generation, always in the image and
    semblance of God".
    "Experience teaches us that for the human being to know him- or herself well and to grow harmoniously, there is a need for reciprocity between man and woman", said the Pope to the thirty thousand faithful present in St. Peter's Square. "When this does not happen, we see the consequences. We are made to listen to each other and to help each other. We can say that, without mutual enrichment in this relationship - in terms of thought and action, in personal relationships and in work, and also in faith - the two cannot even fully understand what it means to be a man and a woman".
    "Modern and contemporary culture has opened up new spaces, new freedoms and new
    depths for the enrichment and understanding of this difference. But it has also
    introduced many doubts and much scepticism. I wonder, for example, if so-called
    gender theory is not an expression of frustration and resignation, that aims to
    cancel out sexual difference as it is no longer able to face it. Yes, we run the
    risk of taking step backwards. Indeed, the removal of difference is the problem,
    not the solution. To solve their problems in relating to each other, men and women must instead speak more, listen more, know each other better, value each other more. They must treat each other with respect and cooperate in friendship.
    With these human bases, supported by God's grace, it is possible to plan a lifelong matrimonial and family union. The marriage and family bond is a serious
    matter for all, not only for believers. I would like to encourage intellectuals
    not to ignore this theme, as if it were secondary to our efforts to promote a freer and more just society".
    "God has entrusted the earth to the alliance between man and woman; its failure
    makes our emotional life arid and obscures the heaven of hope. The signs are already worrying, and we can see them. I would like to indicate due points, among many, that I believe must concern us with greater urgency".
    "Undoubtedly we must do far more in favour of women, if we want to strengthen to the reciprocity between men and women. Indeed, it is necessary for a woman not only to be listened to, but also for her voice to carry real weight, recognised authority, in society and in the Church. The way in which Jesus Himself regarded women, in a context that was far less favourable than our own,
    casts a powerful light illuminating a road that takes us far, on which we have travelled only a short distance. It is a road we must travel with more creativity and boldness".
    He added, "a second point relates to the theme of man and woman created in God's image. I wonder if the crisis of collective trust in God, that is so harmful to us, that causes us to ail with resignation to incredulity and cynicism, is not also connected to the crisis in the alliance between man and woman. In effect, the biblical account, with the great symbolic fresco of earthly paradise and original sin, tells us precisely that communion with God is
    reflected in the communion of the human couple, and the loss of trust in the heavenly Father generates division and conflict between man and woman".
    "This leads to the great responsibility of the Church, of all believers, and above all of Christian families, to rediscover the beauty of the Creator's plan
    that inscribes the image of God also in the alliance between man and woman. The
    earth is filled with harmony and trust when the alliance between man and woman is lived well. And if men and women seek this together between them and with God, without doubt they will find it. Jesus explicitly encourages us to bear witness to this beauty, which is the image of God", concluded the Pontiff.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's telegram for the death of Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J.
    Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, superior general of the Society of Jesus, for the death of Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J., yesterday afternoon in Rome at the age of 93.
    In the text, the Pope expresses his heartfelt condolences and recalls with gratitude the prelate's valuable service over several decades as director of "Civilta Cattolica", expert at Vatican Council II, director general of Vatican Radio and in particular as coordinator of papal trips outside Italy. "He leaves
    us with the memory of an industrious and dynamic life, spent in the coherent and
    generous fulfilment of his vocation as a religious man mindful of the needs of others, and a pastor faithful to the Gospel and to the Church, following the example of St. Ignatius. I raise fervent prayers that the Lord might receive him
    in joy and eternal peace, and I offer you and to your Jesuit brethren the consolation of my apostolic blessing, the sign of my intense participation in our sorrow".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Ninth meeting of the Council of Cardinals
    Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) - The ninth meeting of the Council of Cardinals (C9), which began on 13 April, was brought to a close this afternoon,
    according to a briefing by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J.
    The Council of Cardinals dedicated the majority its work regarding reform of the Roman Curia to two aspects: reflections on the methodologies to be followed
    for work during 2015 and 2016 in order to be able to effectively accomplish the
    task of preparing the new Constitution, and a rereading of the interventions by
    the Cardinals in relation to reform of the Curia made during the recent Consistory (there were over sixty interventions on this theme with useful indications and cues, both for the prologue of the constitution and for specific
    aspects of reform).
    The orientation towards the constitution of two dicasteries - one competent in
    fields of charity, justice and peace, the other regarding the laity, families and life - would appear to be confirmed.
    The Council also focused on the issue of the reorganisation of Vatican media, following the submission of the final report of the Commission presided over by
    Lord Chris Patten.
    It is expected that the Pope will constitute a Commission to consider how the recommendations of the report can be put into practice. This body will also include members of the Patten Commission, to ensure continuity.
    Finally, Cardinal O'Malley, president of the new Commission for the Protection
    of Minors, under the auspices of the same Commission, has proposed that the Pope
    and the Council consider the theme of "Accountability" with regard to the protection of minors, in order to establish appropriate procedures and methods for evaluating and judging cases of "abuse of office" in this area, especially on the part of persons holding responsibility within the Church.
    Further meetings of the Council of Cardinals are scheduled to take place from to 10 June, 14 to 16 September and 10 to 12 December 2015.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Wilson Luis Angotti Filho, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, as bishop of Taubate (area 4,534, population 692,000, Catholics 592,000, priests 123, permanent deacons 55, religious 433), Brazil. He
    succeeds Bishop Carmo Joao Rhoden, S.C.I., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Msgr. Oriolo dos Santos as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte (area 7,222, population 4,785,000, Catholics 3,350,000, priests 771, permanent deacons 16, religious 2,465), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Itajuba, Brazil in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds degrees in philosophy
    from the University of Campinas and in marking and strategic personnel management from the "Gama Filho" University in Rio de Janeiro. He has served in
    a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Pouso Alegre, including parish
    vicar, parish priest, canon of the metropolitan chapter, episcopal vicar for the
    administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, promotor of justice of the ecclesiastical tribunal, and professor of philosophy at the archdiocesan seminary. He is currently parish priest of the Cathedral of Pouso Alegre.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Apr 17 18:21:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 073
    DATE 17-04-2015

    Summary:
    - Pope Francis praises the work of the "Papal Foundation"
    - Declaration of the director of the Holy See Press Office on the Pope's possible trip to Cuba
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis praises the work of the "Papal Foundation"
    Vatican City, 17 April 2015 (VIS) - Today at midday Pope Francis received in audience, in the Sala Clementina, 225 members, administrators and collaborators
    of the "Papal Foundation" during their annual visit to Rome. The "Papal Foundation" is a Catholic association established in 1990 in Philadelphia, U.S.A. by the late Cardinal John Krol, which provides funding for the needs of the Church throughout the world.
    In his address to the institution, the Pope emphasised the wide variety of projects supported by the Foundation, which offer "witness to the ceaseless efforts of the Church to promote the integral development of the human family, conscious as she is of the immense and ongoing needs of so many of our brothers
    and sisters". The Papal Foundation "devotes a sizeable percentage of its resources to the education and formation of young priests, religious and lay men
    and women, hastening the day when their local Churches may be self-supportive, and, indeed,pass on the fruits of such generosity to others".
    Pope Francis thanked those present for the hard work and sacrifice that this entails, and to assured them of his heartfelt prayers for them, their loved ones, and all those whom they support.
    "As the Church prepares for the coming Jubilee of Mercy, I ask our Lord Jesus Christ, 'the face of the Father's mercy', to refresh and renew each one of you through his mercy, the greatest of his many gifts", he concluded. "May each of you experience the healing and freedom that come from the encounter of forgiveness and gratuitous love offered in the sacraments of Reconciliation and
    the Eucharist".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Declaration of the director of the Holy See Press Office on the Pope's possible
    trip to Cuba
    Vatican City, 17 April 2015 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office,
    Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., in response to questions from journalists regarding
    the possibility of Pope Francis visiting Cuba, has affirmed that "the Holy Father has taken into consideration the idea of making a stop in Cuba on the occasion of his upcoming trip to the United States. However, contacts with the Cuban authorities are still in too early a phase for it to be possible to regard
    this as a firm decision or an operative plan".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 17 April 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for New
    Evangelisation;
    - Reiner Haseloff, minister president of Saxony-Anhalt, Federal Republic of Germany, with his wife and entourage.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 17 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Rev. Fr. Juan de Dios Pena Rojas as bishop of El Vigia-San Carlos del Zulia (area 8,233, population 432,000, Catholics 427,000, priests 32, religious 10), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Acequias, Venezuela in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology from the Pontifical Xavierian University of Bogota, Colombia, a licentiate in theology from the Santa Rosa de Lima University Institute, Caracas, Venezuela, and a licentiate in history of the Church from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles in the archdiocese of Merida, including formator in the major seminary, assessor for youth pastoral ministry, administrative director of the archiepiscopal curia, professor and president of the Scholastic Institute of the major seminary, parish priest, member and secretary of the presbyteral council, and chaplain of
    the Dominican Sisters of Santa Rosa de Lima. He is currently member of the college of consultors and of the Metropolitan Chapter, and rector of the "San Buenaventura" major seminary of Merida.
    - Msgr. Francesco Viscome, Italy, substitute defender of the bond, as promoter
    of justice at the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.
    - Rev. Fr. Francesco Ibba, Italy, as substitute defender of the bond at the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Apr 21 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 075
    DATE 21-04-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope participates in the suffering and consternation of the Orthodox Patriarch of Ethiopia for the recent slaughter of Christians
    - Collaboration agreements with UNICEF and CONMEBOL in favour of Scholas Occurrentes, signed before the Holy Father
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - In memoriam

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope participates in the suffering and consternation of the Orthodox Patriarch of Ethiopia for the recent slaughter of Christians
    Vatican City, 21 April 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis sent a message to the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, His Holiness
    Abuna Matthias, upon hearing of the slaughter of 28 Ethiopian Christians kidnapped in Libya by the group ISIS.
    "With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya. I know that Your Holiness is suffering deeply in heart and mind at the sight of your faithful children being
    killed for the sole reason that they are followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
    Christ. I reach out to you in heartfelt spiritual solidarity to assure you of my
    closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia.
    It makes no difference whether the victims are Catholic, Copt, Orthodox or Protestant. Their blood is one and the same in their confession of Christ! The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be
    heard by everyone who can still distinguish between good and evil. All the more
    this cry must be heard by those who have the destiny of peoples in their hands.
    At this time we are filled with the Easter joy of the disciples to whom the women had brought the news that 'Christ has risen from the dead'. This year, that joy - which never fades - is tinged with profound sorrow. Yet we know that
    the life we live in God's merciful love is stronger than the pain all Christians
    feel, a pain shared by men and women of good will in all religious traditions.
    With heartfelt condolences I exchange with Your Holiness the embrace of peace in Christ Our Lord".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Collaboration agreements with UNICEF and CONMEBOL in favour of Scholas Occurrentes, signed before the Holy Father
    Vatican City, 21 April 2015 (VIS) - This morning, in the Domus Sanctae Marthae
    and in the presence of Pope Francis, the executive director of UNICEF, Anthony Lake, and the deputy president of CONMEBOL signed two collaboration agreements in favour of Scholas Occurrentes, the educational network supported by the Holy
    Father.
    UNICEF is the United Nations Children's Fund, and CONMEBOL the South American Football Confederation. Scholas Occurrentes is a the first worldwide initiative
    with the aim of promoting integration and peace between peoples through education, connecting more than 400,000 schools and educational networks, both public and private and of all religions. The five-year collaboration with UNICEF
    will be based on the broadening of access for young children, especially the most disadvantaged, to technology, sport and the arts - platforms for education,
    participation and the building of peace, enabling the young to learn about themselves, others and the world that surrounds them.
    Scholas and UNICEF will initially cooperate in a series of joint activities worldwide, with the special aim of bringing an end to violence and promoting the
    connectedness of all young people, making the most of the unique capacities of each person to favour the participation of adolescents and to broaden their access to the tools and information they need to be connected, to communicate and to collaborate.
    The two organisations will explore the bonds between their respective platforms
    for mobilisation on social networks and communication media, and will support both digital campaigns and social movements in aid of the most disadvantaged children. The specific collaboration projects include involvement in the Scholas
    network in terms of content and opportunities for the participation by young people in "The young express their own opinion", UNICEF's online space for adolescents and young people. UNICEF will also adapt the U-Report for the Scholas global community, which will enable its members to join the 500,000 or so young people who already use the mobile-based platform to speak about their interests and to participate.
    The organisations will also develop new opportunities for collaboration in relation to major events centred on world youth, such as the Summit on the Social Impact of Youth, to be held during the Summer Games of the Special Olympics in 2015 in Los Angeles. In 2016, the association will begin to explore
    initiatives at regional, national and community levels, including campaigns to raise awareness and joint promotional activities linked to issues affecting millions of disadvantaged adolescents.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 21 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral ministry of the diocese of Kansas
    City-St. Joseph, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Robert W. Finn, in accordance with
    canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
    - accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico, presented by Bishop Joso Trindad Gonzalez Rodriguez, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 and of the Code of Canon Law.

    ___________________________________________________________

    In memoriam
    Vatican City, 20 April 2015 (VIS) - The following prelates have died in recent
    weeks:
    - Bishop Andre Vallee, P.M.E., emeritus of Hearst, Canada, on 28 February at the age of 84.
    - Cardinal Edward Michael Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York, U.S.A, on 5 March at the age of 82.
    - Bishop Antonio Dorado Soto, emeritus of Malaga, Spain, on 17 March at the age
    of 83.
    - Bishop Malachy John Goltok, of Bauchi, Nigeria, on 21 March at the age of 49.
    - Archbishop Ennio Appignanesi, emeritus of Potenza-Muro Lucano-Marsico Nuovo Italy, on 26 March at the age of 89.
    - Bishop Alonso Llano Ruiz, emeritus of Istmina-Tado, Colombia, on 26 March at
    the age of 83.
    - Bishop Juan Carlos Maccarone, emeritus of Santiago del Estero, Argentina, on
    29 March at the age of 74.
    - Bishop Alberto Ricardo da Silva, emeritus of Dili, East Timor, on 2 April at
    the age of 71.
    - Bishop William Benedict Friend, emeritus of Shreveport, U.S.A. on 2 April at
    the age of 83.
    - Archbishop Luis Mar0a Perez de Onraita Aguirre, emeritus of Malanje, Angola on 3 April at the age of 81.
    - Bishop Eugene Moke Motsuri , auxiliary emeritus of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 6 April at the age of 99.
    - Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, archbishop emeritus of Montreal, Canada, on April at the age of 78.
    - Bishop Joao Alves dos Santos, O.F.M. Cap., of Paranagua, Brazil, on 9 April at the age of 58.
    -Bishop Elmo Noel Joseph Perera, emeritus of Galle, Sri Lanka, on 9 April at the age of 82.
    - Bishop Antonio Alberto Guimaraes Rezende, C.S.S., emeritus of Caetite, Brazil, on 13 April at the age of 89.
    - Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J., on 14 April, at the age of 93.
    - Bishop Felice Leonardo, emeritus of Cerreto Sannita-Telese-Sant'Agata de' Goti, Italy, on 15 April at the age of 100
    - Cardinal Francis Eugene George, O.M.I., archbishop emeritus of Chicago, U.S.A., on 17 April at the age of 78.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Apr 22 08:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 076
    DATE 22-04-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: man and woman, complementary and of the same divine substance
    - On Earth Day, the Pope invites us to see the world through God's eyes
    - Pope Francis' trip to Cuba confirmed
    - Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue: make space for dialogue with Muslims, now more than ever
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: man and woman, complementary and of the same divine substance
    Vatican City, 22 April 2015 (VIS) - Pope Francis dedicated his catechesis at today's Wednesday general audience to the second chapter of Genesis, in which we
    read that God created man as the culmination of all Creation and placed him in beautiful garden so that he could cultivate it. "The Holy Spirit, who inspires all the Bible, suggests for a moment the image of man alone, without woman", said the Pontiff. "And it suggests the thought of God, almost the sentiments of
    God as He watches him, as He observes Adam alone in the garden: he is free, he is the master, but ... he is alone. And God sees that this is not good; it is lack of communion, a lack of fullness. 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him'".
    When after presenting all the other creatures, God finally presents woman to Adam, "the man joyfully recognises that creature, and only her, to be part of him: 'bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh'. Finally there is reflection, reciprocity. The woman is not a replica of man; she comes directly from God's gesture of creation. Indeed, the image of the 'rib' does not imply inferiority or subordination, but on the contrary, that man and woman are of the same substance and are complementary. And the fact that, again in the parable, God forms woman while man is sleeping, underlines that she is in no way a creation of man, but of God".
    God's trust in man and woman, to whom He entrusts the earth, is generous, direct and full. "He trusts them. But here there is the evil one who introduces
    suspicion, incredulity and distrust into their minds. And finally, they arrive at the point of disobeying the commandment that protects them. They give in to the delirium of omnipotence that contaminates everything and destroys harmony".
    "Sin generates diffidence and division between man and woman. Their relationship is undermined by a thousand forms of abuse and subjection, of deceptive seduction and humiliating arrogance, including the most tragic and violent. History bears their traces. Let us think, for instance, of the negative
    excesses of patriarchal culture. Think of the exploitation and commodification of the female body in the media in contemporary culture. But let us also think of the recent epidemic of distrust, scepticism and even hostility that is spreading in our culture - starting in particular from a comprehensible diffidence on the part of women - with regard to the alliance between man and woman that is able, at the same time, to refine the intimacy of communion and safeguard the dignity of difference".
    "If we do not find a wave of sympathy for this alliance, able to protect new generations from distrust and indifference, the children who come into the world
    will be increasingly rooted in it", warned the bishop of Rome. "The social devaluation of the stable and generative alliance of man and woman is certainly
    a loss for all. We must restore honour to marriage and the family".
    "The stewardship of this alliance of man and woman, even if they are sinners and wounded, confused and humiliated, distrustful and uncertain, is therefore for us as believers a demanding and exciting vocation. The account of creation and sin, at the end, offers us a beautiful image: 'And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them'. It is an image of tenderness towards the couple, sinners as they were, that leaves us speechless.
    It is an image of the paternal protection of the human couple. God Himself cares
    for and protects His finest creation", concluded the Pope.

    ___________________________________________________________

    On Earth Day, the Pope invites us to see the world through God's eyes
    Vatican City, 22 April 2015 (VIS) - In the multi-lingual greetings at the end of today's catechesis, the Pope addressed among others the Polish pilgrims who tomorrow celebrate the solemnity of St. Adalbert, whose martyrdom more than a thousand years ago formed the foundation of his church and his nation. St. John
    Paul II described him as an "incomparable inspiration for those who today work to build a Europe renewed in the faith of her cultural and religious roots". "May the heavenly protection of the patron of Poland confirm you in your faith and intercede for the peace and development of your homeland".
    Addressing the Italian faithful present, he also mentioned that today is Earth
    Day, and he urged all to "see the world through the eyes of God the Creator: the
    earth is the environment to protect and the garden to cultivate. The relationship between man and nature must not be governed by greed, manipulation
    and exploitation, but rather should preserve the divine harmony between creatures and creation, in the logic of respect and care, to place it at the service of our brothers and for future generations".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis' trip to Cuba confirmed
    Vatican City, 22 April 2015 (VIS) - The director of the Holy See Press Office,
    Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., today issued the following declaration:
    "I am able to confirm that the Holy Father Francis, having received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba, has decided to pay a visit to the island before his arrival in the United States for
    the trip announced some time ago".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue: make space for dialogue with Muslims, now more than ever
    Vatican City, 22 April 2015 (VIS) - The following is the full text of a Declaration published this morning by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious
    Dialogue:
    "The events of recent times cause many of us to ask: 'Is there still space for
    dialogue with Muslims?'. The answer is: yes, more than ever.
    Firstly because the great majority of Muslims themselves do not identify with the current acts of barbarism.
    Unfortunately today the word 'religious' is often associated with the word 'violence', whereas believers must demonstrate that religions are required to be
    heralds of peace and not violence.
    To kill in the name of religion is not only an offence to God, but it is also defeat for humanity. On 9 January 2006 Pope Benedict XVI, addressing the Diplomatic Corps and speaking about the danger of clashes between civilisations
    and in particular organised terrorism, affirmed that 'No situation can justify such criminal activity, which covers the perpetrators with infamy, and it is all
    the more deplorable when it hides behind religion, thereby bringing the pure truth of God down to the level of the terrorists' own blindness and moral perversion'.
    Unfortunately in recent days we have witnessed a radicalisation of community and religious discourse, with the consequent risks of increasing hatred, violence, terrorism and the growing and commonplace stigmatisation of Muslims and their religion.
    In such a context we are called upon to strengthen fraternity and dialogue. Believers have formidable potential for peace, if we believe that man was created by God and that humanity is a single family; and even more so if we believe, as we Christians do, that God is Love. Continuing to engage in dialogue, even when experiencing persecution, can become a sign of hope. Believers do not wish to impose their vision of humanity and of history, but rather seek to propose respect for differences, freedom of thought and religion,
    the protection of human dignity, and love for truth.
    We must have the courage to review the quality of family life, the methods of teaching religion and history, and the contain of sermons in our places of worship. Above all, family and schools are the key to ensuring that tomorrow's world will be based on mutual respect and brotherhood.
    Uniting our voice to that of Pope Francis, we say: 'any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace. The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and
    sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences' (Ankara, 28 November 2014)".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 22 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Eduardo Pinheiro Da Silva, S.D.B., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Campo Grande,
    Brazil, as bishop of Jaboticabal (area 5,175, population 486,000, Catholics 366,000, priests 66, permanent deacons 1, religious 88), Brazil.
    Yesterday, 21 April, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of
    Kansas City in Kansas, U.S.A., as apostolic administrator "sede vacante" of the
    diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 22 April 2015 (VIS) - We inform our readers that tomorrow, feast
    day of St. George, patron of the Holy Father, the Vatican Information Service Bulletin will not be transmitted. Service will resume on Friday 24 April.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Fri Apr 24 08:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 077
    DATE 24-04-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope receives the president of the Czech Republic: strengthen collaboration in areas of common interest
    - "Ad Limina" visit of the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia: be generous in bringing Christ's tenderness to those who suffer
    - The Holy See at the United Nations: condemnation of violence against women in
    armed conflict
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope receives the president of the Czech Republic: strengthen collaboration
    in areas of common interest
    Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, who subsequently met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
    During the cordial discussions, which took place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and
    the then-Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, which took place on 19 April 1990, mutual willingness to strengthen the good bilateral relations was confirmed, along with the hope of concluding negotiations with a view to stipulating a bilateral Agreement. The Parties expressed their wish to further develop cooperation between Church and State in sectors of mutual interest, especially in culture, education and social welfare, for the benefit of the entire nation.
    Attention then turned to the current international context, with special attention to the situation of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

    ___________________________________________________________

    "Ad Limina" visit of the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia: be generous in bringing Christ's tenderness to those who suffer
    Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) - Today Pope Francis received in audience the
    bishops of Lesotho and Namibia, "lands known for their flourishing Christian faith", at the end of the "ad Limina" visit. In the written discourse he handed
    to the prelates, the Pope recalled the labours and sacrifices of many missionaries, who were supported by generations of indigenous companions in lands which have often presented great challenges, both environmental and social, but which are known for their churches and chapels, parishes, mission stations and outstations, "which draw many to a community life centred on prayer
    and work".
    "Renowned too are your numerous schools at every level, your clinics and hospitals, built with love and faithfulness from the materials of Namibia's soil
    and Lesotho's mountains. I encourage you to continue supporting and nurturing these great blessings, even when resources are sparse, for the Lord promises that he will not fail to bless us".
    He continued, "I know that your communities face many challenges daily, and I am sure that this weighs heavily on your hearts. Strengthen them in love to overcome selfishness in private or public life; be generous in bringing them the
    tenderness of Christ where threats to human life occur, from the womb to old age
    - and I think particularly of those suffering with HIV and AIDS". He encouraged
    them to "not only win them to the cause of Christ but also make them protagonists of a renewed African society".
    The Pope goes on to mention Christian families that are fragmented due to employment far away from home, or because of separation or divorce and urged the
    bishops to continue offering them help and guidance, preparing couples for Christian marriage, and constantly sustaining families by offering generously the Church's Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of mercy. "I thank you for your efforts in promoting healthy family life in the face of distorted views that emerge in contemporary society. ... The family is the best setting for learning and applying the culture of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation. ...
    From healthy families will come numerous priestly vocations, families where men
    have learned to love inasmuch as they have been unconditionally loved ...having
    learned respect, justice, the role of authority expressed by parents and loving
    concern".
    "In a time of an apparent decrease in vocations to the priesthood and to religious life, it is important to speak openly about the fulfilling and joyful
    experience of offering one's life to Christ", continues the Holy Father. "For when your Christian communities are built up by your own continued example of 'living in truth and joy your priestly commitments, celibacy in chastity and detachment from material possessions', then vocations to the priesthood and the
    consecrated life will most certainly abound". He thanks God for "the continued witness and service of so many communities of religious brothers and sisters who
    are vital to the praying heart of the Church, along with the many committed sodalities and other lay associations of the Church in Lesotho and Namibia". He
    also notes, when developing pastoral plans, in paying careful spiritual attention to the poorest in society. "I ask you to be particularly mindful of those most in need in your Churches, entrusting all your initiatives to God's care".
    Finally, he exhorts the bishops to "persevere as men of deep and constant prayer, in the way of Blessed Joseph Gerard, who listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in all matters. Prayer precedes and leads to authentic evangelisation. As you know from experience, when the Church summons all Christians to constantly take up anew the task of evangelising the world, 'she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment'; that is, she
    is showing us the path to our deepest happiness".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Holy See at the United Nations: condemnation of violence against women in armed conflict
    Vatican City, 23 April 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations, spoke during the Security Council open
    debate on "Women, peace security" in New York on 15 April 2015.
    "Women are not spared any of the brutal consequences of war, and are additionally subject to uniquely degrading and traumatising attacks and long-term consequences", said the prelate. "It is only just and reasonable that
    their voice should be present and influential in the work of preventing and resolving violence and war. It is well documented that sexual violence of many kinds accompanies modern warfare. We all know the awful litany: women are raped
    and trafficked, forced into prostitution to earn a living, and terrorised individually and in their roles as protectors of their children and other vulnerable family members. All violence against human life is terrible, but sexual violence is intended to debase, dehumanise, demoralise - in a unique way.
    The consequences are profound and long lasting - physical as well as psychological".
    The nuncio remarked that this last year has been notable for the "new and ongoing atrocities involving sexual violence in various conflicts and by groups
    such as Boko Haram and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Some are also attacks upon women and girls purely because of the faith they profess. Although this is of very serious concern today for Christians, surely this is a matter where our shared human nature, across all religions and cultures, cries out for common commitment of members of all faiths and governments, strongly to condemn and confront such heinous acts, and to step forward to protect those threatened".
    "It seems that, in the past several years, there has emerged a greater international consciousness of the scourge of human trafficking, and even increased responses" he continued. "It is to be hoped that there will be an ever
    greater appreciation of what Pope Francis has called the 'trauma', affecting both 'body and spirit', of rape as a tool of war. To adapt an observation made by His Holiness, a two point drop in the stock market is front page news, while
    the violation of hundreds or even thousands of women would go unreported".
    The Holy See delegation therefore supports the processes identified in successive reports issued by the Secretary General, as essential for ensuring justice to women assaulted in conflict: effective investigation and documentation; consistent and rigorous prosecution; and ongoing investigation and responsibility regarding the root causes of sexual and other violence in armed conflict. "We support efforts to bring adequate legal, medical and social
    services to the particular women affected, to witnesses and survivors, and to their family members. Because of the Catholic Church's permanent local presence
    in the areas of the world most affected by disasters, a network of Catholic institutions and agencies respond rapidly and effectively to address the consequence of violence in armed conflict. It is always distressing, however, to
    see that some are still promoting the abortion of unborn children as part of the
    'treatment' or response to the attack of their mothers. This contradicts the peace and security mission of the United Nations, and proposes to meet violence
    with more violence".
    Archbishop Auza concluded, "It has been observed many times at this body, and it is true, that women are not only victims but also necessary agents and contributors in the work of preventing and resolving conflicts. Without their contributions, government, negotiators and civil society groups can neither understand the problems, nor propose effective solutions. Moreover, it is important to continue in every Member State the steady and patient work of achieving structural justice for women in every sector of society. A proper vision of women's roles in society, and an integration of women in every social
    sector, are crucial aspects of the prevention of violence".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine
    of the Faith;
    - Ana Maria Freire;
    - Seven prelates of the Namibia and Lesotho Catholic Bishops' Conferences, on their "ad Limina" visit:
    - Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda, O.M.I. of Windhoek, Namibia;
    - Bishop Philipp Pollitzer, O.M.I., of Keetmanshoop, Namibia;
    - Bishop Joseph Shipandeni Shikongo, O.M.I., apostolic vicar of Rundu, Namibia;
    - Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi, O.M.I., of Maseru, Lesotho;
    - Bishop Augustinus Tumaole Bane, O.M.I., of Leribe, Lesotho;
    - Bishop John Joale Tlhomola, S.C.P., of Mohale's Hoek, Lesotho;
    - Bishop Joseph Mopeli Sephamola, O.M.I., of Qacha's Nek, Lesotho.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 24 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Rev. Fr. Edward C. Malesic as bishop of Greensburg (area 8,632, population 704,000, Catholics 166,200, priests 205, permanent deacons 2, religious 350), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Harrisburg, U.S.A. in 1960, and was ordained
    a priest in 1987. He holds a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Harrisburg, including deputy priest, chaplain of the York College and the Millersville University; auditor; defender of the bond and
    canonical consultor of the ecclesiastical tribunal; and adjunct judicial vicar.
    He is currently parish priest of the Holy Infant Parish in York Haven, and judicial vicar. He succeeds Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit has been accepted by the Holy Father.
    - Bishop Josef Graf as auxiliary of the diocese of Regensburg (area 14,665, population 1,712,000, Catholics 1,207,706, priests 953, permanent deacons 108, religious 477), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Riedenburg, Germany in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He holds as doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served as parish vicar in Regensburg-Reinhausen. He is currently spiritual director of the major seminary
    of Regensburg. In 2007 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness.
    - Msgr. Piergiorgio Bertoldi, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio to Burkina Faso and Niger, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop.
    On Thursday, 23 April, the Holy Father appointed Rev. Fr. Brendan Cahill as bishop of Victoria in Texas (area 23,573, population 292,229, Catholics 119,600,
    priests 62, permanent deacons 39, religious 88), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1963 in Coral Gables, U.S.A., and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
    He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar, rector of the "St. Mary" seminary in Houston, archdiocesan director of the Secretariat for
    Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services, head of the Priests Personnel Board, and member of the presbyteral council. He is currently vicar for the clergy of the same diocese. He succeeds Bishop David E. Fellhauer, whose resignation from
    the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Apr 28 08:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 079
    DATE 28-04-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope greets UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the Pontifical Academy of
    Sciences
    - "Cor Unum" to send 100,000 dollars to earthquake-stricken Nepal
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope greets UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
    Vatican City, 28 April 2015 (VIS) - Shortly after 9 a.m. this morning in the Casina Pio IV, seat of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Holy Father briefly met with the United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon, present at the Academy for the subsequent opening presentation of the international workshop "Protect the Earth, dignify humanity. The moral dimensions of climate change and sustainable development".
    During the private audience the secretary of the United Nations, as he explained in the following press conference, expressed to the Pope his gratitude
    for having agreed to address the Assembly of the United Nations this coming 25 September and remarked that he was looking forward to the Holy Father's discourse on the occasion and to his forthcoming encyclical. He also illustrated
    various aspects of the United Nations' current commitment not only to environmental issues, but also to migrants and the dramatic humanitarian situations in the areas of the world affected by conflicts.

    ___________________________________________________________

    "Cor Unum" to send 100,000 dollars to earthquake-stricken Nepal
    Vatican City, 28 April 2015 (VIS) - Following the earthquake that struck the territory of Nepal with extraordinary vehemence last weekend, the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" has undertaken to send a first contribution of 100 thousand dollars for aid to the population on behalf of the Holy Father.
    This sum, which will be sent to the local Church, will be used to support aid operations for the displaced and other affected persons, and is intended as a first and immediate concrete expression of Pope Francis' "spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement" towards those afflicted, as he assured during the Regina Coeli of Sunday 26 April. Episcopal conferences and Catholic charitable entities are already extensively involved in humanitarian works.
    According to the data currently available but not yet definitive, there have been more than 4,300 victims so far and approximately 7 million affected in 34 districts of Nepal, a million homeless, and around 2 million children in need of
    assistance. Numerous villages are isolated and aid has not yet reached them. The
    government has estimated that roughly 400 thousand buildings have been destroyed.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 28 April 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in private
    audience Rafael Correa Delgado, president of the Republic of Ecuador, and entourage.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 28 April 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Rev. Fr. Edward Mapunda as bishop of Singida (area 49,341, population 1,500,000, Catholics 238,307, priests 67, religious 437), Tanzania. The bishop-elect was born in Mango, Tanzania in 1964, and was ordained a priest in 1997. He holds a Master's degree in education from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and has served as formator and subsequently vice-rector
    of the minor seminary of Singida. He is currently bursar and diocesan delegate for health.
    - Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic
    Signatura, as president of the Commission for Lawyers.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Apr 29 08:01:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 080
    DATE 29-04-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: the dignity of marriage
    - The Pope sends a video message to guests at the Caritas centres

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: the dignity of marriage
    Vatican City, 29 April 2015 (VIS) - Following last Wednesday's catechesis on God's original plan for man and woman as a couple, the Pope spoke at today's general audience about marriage, recalling that Jesus' first miracle took place
    during the wedding at Cana, when He transformed water into wine and thus ensured
    that the celebrations could take place. "This fact reminds us of Genesis, when God completed His creation with his masterpiece: man and woman", he said. "And Jesus began His miracles with this masterpiece, in marriage. ... Thus Jesus teaches us that the masterpiece of society is the family: the man and the woman
    who love each other. ... Since that time, many things have changed but that 'sign' of Christ contains a message that remains valid".
    "Nowadays it does not seem easy to describe marriage as a celebration that is renewed over time, in the different seasons in the entire life of spouses. It is
    a fact that fewer people marry. Instead, in many countries the number of separations is increasing, while the number of children is in decline. The difficulty of staying together - both as a couple and as a family - leads to bonds being broken with increasing frequency and rapidity. ... In effect, many young people are led to give up the plan of an irrevocable bond and a lasting family. There is a kind of culture of the provisional: everything is temporary,
    and it seems that nothing is permanent".
    For this reason, the Pope continued, one of the questions we must face nowadays
    is why young people do not choose to get married, and seem to have little confidence in marriage and in the family. "The difficulties are not only of an economic nature, although these are very important", he observed. "Many people believe that the change that has taken place in recent decades was set in motion
    by the emancipation of women. But this argument is not valid either. It is an insult, a form of misogyny that seeks to subjugate women. If men behave in this
    way, we are like Adam, when God asked him who had eaten the fruit of the tree, and he said that the woman gave it to him".
    "In reality, almost all men and women would prefer emotional security in the form of a solid marriage and a happy family ... but, for fear of failure, many do
    not even want to think about it. ... Perhaps it is precisely that fear of failure
    that is the greatest obstacle to receiving the word of Christ, Who promises His
    grace to the matrimonial union and to the family". However, "marriage consecrated by God preserves that bond between man and woman that God has blessed ever since the creation of the world; and it is a source of peace and good for all married and family life. For example, in the early times of Christianity, this great dignity of the bond between man and woman defeated an abuse considered to be entirely normal in those times, that is, the right of husbands to repudiate their wives, even for the most specious and humiliating reasons. The Gospel, the Gospel that announces this sacrament, ended this culture of habitual repudiation".
    "The Christian seed of radical equality between spouses must bear new fruit today", emphasised the Holy Father. "The witness of the social dignity of marriage will become persuasive, the witness of reciprocity between husband and
    wife, of complementarity. .. And as Christians we must become more demanding in
    this respect. For example, in decisively supporting equal pay for equal work: inequality is a scandal. Why is it taken for granted that women should earn less
    than men? No! They have the same rights. At the same time, the maternity of women and the paternity of men should be recognised as a richness that remains valid, especially for the benefit of children. Equally, the virtue of hospitality in Christian families today retains a crucial importance, especially
    in situations of poverty, degradation and domestic violence".
    "Do not be afraid of inviting Jesus to the wedding celebrations! And also His Mother Mary!" exclaimed Pope Francis. "Christians, when they marry 'in the Lord', are transformed into an effective sign of God's love. Christians do not marry only for themselves: they marry in the Lord in favour of all the community, of society as a whole".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope sends a video message to guests at the Caritas centres
    Vatican City, 29 April 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Brancaccio theatre, Rome, the guests of the Caritas reception centre were the protagonists
    of the play "Se non fosse per te" ("If it were not for you"), directed by Carlo
    Del Giudice, which narrates their life stories. It recounts stories of love, disappointment and abandonment, but also of mutual love for children, parents, life and God. It offers a unique opportunity for dialogue between Rome and her most vulnerable citizens, in which Pope Francis wished to participate by sending
    a video message to the actors.
    "The way in which you speak to the city offers a meaningful opportunity for dialogue and exchange. Between you, on the stage, displaying your hidden talents, assisted by expert professionals who have guided you as actors to enable your resources and potential to flourish - and those who are listen, surely amazed by the richness you offer. Whoever thought that a homeless person
    could be someone we can learn from? Whoever thought they could be a saint? Instead, this evening you transmit to us from the stage valuable teachings on love, on the needs of others, on solidarity, and on how to find, amid difficulties, the love of the Father".
    "Poverty is the great teaching that Jesus gave to us when he descended into the
    waters of the Jordan to be baptised by John the Baptist. He did not do so out of
    a need for penance, for conversion; He did so in order to be among the people, people in need of forgiveness, in the midst of us, sinners, in order to bear the
    burden of our sins. And this is the path He chose so as to console us, save us,
    liberate us from our misery. That which gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is His love of compassion, tenderness and sharing. The Good Samaritan who lifts us up, beaten by robbers".
    "St. Gregory of Nyssa, a great theologian of antiquity, writes: 'Consider well
    who are the poor in the Gospel and discover their dignity; they wear the face of
    the Lord. In His mercy He has given them His own face'. And St. Augustine said,
    'On earth Christ is hungry in the poor. You must fear Christ in heaven and recognise Him on earth; on earth He is poor, in heaven He is rich'".
    "I too wish to make these words my own. You are not a burden to us. You are the
    wealth without which our attempts to discover the face of the Lord are in vain.
    A few days after my election, I received from you a letter of well wishes and offers of prayer. I remember replying immediately, to tell you that I hold you in my heart and am at your disposal. I confirm those words. On that occasion I asked you to pray for me. I reiterate my request, as I am truly in need of your
    prayers".
    The Pope went on to thank all the workers of Caritas Rome. "I think of them as
    my hands, the hands of the bishop, in touching the Body of Christ. I also thank
    the many volunteers from the parishes of Rome and other parts of Italy. In this
    way they discover a world that requires attention and solidarity; men and women
    who seek affection, relationships, dignity, and with whom we can experience charity by learning to welcome, listen and give of ourselves".
    The Pope remarked that the city of Rome has in all times been distinguished by
    persons filled with God's love. "Let us think of St. Lawrence (his jewels were the poor) and St. Pammachius (a Roman senator who converted and devoted himself
    exclusively to the service of the least among us), St. Fabiola (the first to build a hostel for the poor in Porto), St. Philip Neri, Blessed Angelo Paoli, St. Joseph Labre (the 'beggar saint'), and Don Luigi di Liegro, founder of Caritas Rome. How I would like Rome to shine with 'pietas' for those who suffer,
    with welcome for those who flee from war and death, with willingness, smiles and
    magnanimity for those who have lost hope. How I would like the Church of Rome always to show herself to be an ever more attentive and caring mother to the weak. We all have weaknesses, all of us; everyone has their own. How I would like the parish communities in prayer, as a poor person enters the Church, to kneel in veneration as they do when the Lord enters! How I would like the flesh
    of Christ to be touched in the needy of this city".
    The Pope concluded his message by expressing his hope of meeting the actors personally, as occurred recently with the homeless in the Sistine Chapel, and he
    bestowed on them his blessing.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed May 6 23:30:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 084
    DATE 06-05-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: the beauty of Christian marriage
    - On the anniversary of the end of World War II: may humanity learn from past mistakes
    - Greetings to the families of the Swiss Guard and Polish faithful
    - Private visit of President Castro of Cuba
    - Decrees for the Causes of Saints
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: the beauty of Christian marriage
    Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - The beauty of Christian marriage, which is not
    "simply the beauty of the ceremony that takes place in church, but rather the Sacrament made by the Church, giving rise to a new family community", was the theme chosen by Pope Francis in the catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience.
    "It is what the apostle Paul summarises in his famous expression: 'This mystery
    is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church'. Inspired
    by the Holy Spirit, Paul affirms that the love between spouses is the image of the love between Christ and the Church. An unimaginable dignity! But in reality
    it is inscribed in God's plan of creation, and with Christ's grace countless Christian couples, even with their limits, their sins, have achieved this".
    St. Paul, speaking of new life in Christ, says that "all Christians are called
    to love each other as Christ has loved them, that is 'submitting to one another', meaning at each other's service. Here he introduces the analogy between the husband-wife couple and that of Christ and the Church. It is clear that this is an imperfect analogy, but we must grasp the spiritual meaning, elevated and revolutionary but at the same time very simple, within the reach of
    every man and woman who trust in God's grace".
    "'Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies', says Paul; 'as Christ
    loved the church and gave himself up for her'. The effect of this radicalism of
    the devotion required of man, for the love and the dignity of the woman, based on the example of Christ, must have been enormous within the Christian community
    itself. This seed of evangelical newness, that re-establishes the original reciprocity of devotion and respect, has ripened slowly throughout history, but
    in the end it has prevailed".
    The sacrament of marriage "is a great act of faith and of love: it bears witness to the courage of believing in the God's creating act and of living that
    love that drives us always to go onwards, beyond ourselves and even beyond the family itself. The Christian vocation to love without reserve and without measure is such that, with Christ's grace, it is at the base of the free consensus that constitutes marriage". Furthermore, the Church herself "is fully
    involved in the history of each Christian marriage: she is built on its successes and suffers in its failures. However we must ask ourselves seriously:
    do we accept fully, ourselves, as believers and pastors, this indissoluble bond
    of the history of Christ and the Church with the history of marriage and the human family? Are we willing to take on this responsibility seriously?".
    The decision to 'marry in the Lord' also contains a missionary dimension, which
    means having at heart the willingness to become conduits of God's blessing and the Lord's grace for all. Indeed, Christian couples participate in the mission of the Church inasmuch as they are couples. ... And thus the life of the Church is
    enriched every time by the beauty of this matrimonial alliance, just as it is impoverished every time it is defaced. The Church, to offer the gift of faith, love and hope to all, is in need of the courageous faithfulness of married couples in the grace of their sacrament. The people of God needs their daily progress in faith, love and hope, with all the joys and the hardships that this
    path involves in a marriage and in a family".
    "Yes: St. Paul was right, it is a great mystery", concluded the Pope. "Men and
    women, courageous enough to place this treasure in the clay vessels of our humanity, are an essential resource for the Church, and also for all the world.
    May God bless you a thousand times for this!".

    ___________________________________________________________

    On the anniversary of the end of World War II: may humanity learn from past mistakes
    Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - "In the next few days various capital cities will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe", remarked the Pope following the catechesis of today's general audience.
    "On this occasion I entrust to the Lord, by the intercession of Mary Queen of Peace, my hope that society may learn from the mistakes of the past and that, faced with the current conflicts that are tearing asunder various regions of the
    world, all civil leaders may persevere in their search for the common good and in the promotion of a culture of peace".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Greetings to the families of the Swiss Guard and Polish faithful Vatican City,
    6 May 2015 (VIS) - At the end of today's catechesis the Pope greeted German-speaking pilgrims, especially the relatives and friends of the Pontifical
    Swiss Guard in Rome to attend the oath-taking ceremony for the new recruits, and
    musicians from the Swiss Canton of Valais, who accompanied the general audience.
    He also addressed the Polish faithful, especially all those who during the month
    of May maintain the tradition of gathering in churches or before images of Mary
    in the streets to pray in her honour.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Private visit of President Castro of Cuba
    Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - On Sunday 10 May, the Holy Father will receive
    in a strictly private audience the president of the Republic of Cuba, Raul Castro Ruz, in the Pope's Study at the Paul VI Hall. President Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in the thaw of relations between Cuba and
    the United States of America, and the Pope will visit Havana in September prior
    to his trip to the United States.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Decrees for the Causes of Saints
    Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
    MIRACLES
    - attributed to the intercession of Blessed Vincenzo Grossi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory (1845-1917);
    - attributed to the intercession of Blessed Maria of the Immaculate Conception
    (nee Maria Isabel Salvat Romero), Spanish superior general of the Sisters of the
    Company of the Cross (1926-1998);
    - attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Giacomo Abbondo, Italian diocesan priest (1720-1788);
    MARTYRDOM
    - Servants of God Mario Borzaga, Italian professed priest of the Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Paul Thoj Xyooj, lay catechist, killed in hatred of the faith in Laos in April 1960;
    HEROIC VIRTUES
    - Servant of God Jacinto Vera, bishop of Montevideo, Uruguay (1813-1881);
    - Servant of God Antonio Antic, Croatian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor (1893-1965);
    - Servant of God Juliette Colbert de Falletti di Barolo, French laywoman, widow
    and founder of the Daughters of Jesus the Good Shepherd (1786-1864);
    - Servant of God Maria Brigida Postorino, Italian founder of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (1865-1960);
    - Servant of God Maria Rafaela Jesus Hostia, Spanish professed nun of the Order
    of Capuchin Poor Clares (1915-1991);
    - Servant of God Sergio Bernardini, Italian layman and father (1882-1966);
    - Servant of God Domenica Bedonni in Bernardini, Italian laywoman and mother (1889-1971).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacyr Francisco Braido, C.S., from the pastoral care of the diocese of Santos, Brazil, upon reaching the age limit. He
    is succeeded by Bishop Tarcisio Scaramussa, S.D.B., coadjutor of the same diocese.
    - appointed Rev. Fr. Emery Kibal Mansong'loo, C.P., as bishop of the diocese of
    Kole (area 66,000, population 487,000, Catholics 158,000, priests 66, religious
    80), Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Kimputu, Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1969, gave his perpetual vows in 1998 and was ordained a priest in the same year. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar in the diocese of Tshumbe; parish priest of the Catholic Mission of Lumbi in the diocese of Kikwit; provincial superior of the Passionists for two consecutive mandates; lecturer in liturgy in various structures; and member of the managing board of the Catholic University of the Congo.
    - appointed Bishop Manuel Sanchez Monge of Mondonedo-Ferrol, Spain, as bishop of Santander (area 5,527, population 595,449, Catholics 559,000, priests 411, permanent deacons 5, religious 925), Spain.
    - appointed Bishop Edson De Castro Homem, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as bishop of Iguatu, (area 21,904, population 562,108, Catholics 549,000, priests 39, religious 60), Brazil.
    - appointed Bishop Agenor Girardi, M.S.C., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre, Brazil, as bishop of Uniao da Vitoria, (area 10,000, population 225,600, Catholics 192,600, priests 35, permanent deacons 10, religious 53), Brazil.
    - appointed Rev. Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc as apostolic vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe,(area 4,615, population 360,526, Catholics 215,286, priests 30, religious 12), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in Lagawe, Philippines in
    1969 and was ordained a priest in 1998. Following his studies in philosophy and
    theology, he obtained a Master of Arts in development management from the Asian
    Institute of Management in Makati City, He has served as rector of the Holy Rosary Mission, Kayan; the Holy Family Mission, Hapao; the St. Mary Magdalene Mission, Lagawe; and the Good Shepherd Mission, Hapid; and as director of the Kataguan Centre, Lagawe. He is currently director of the Centre for Social Action and Development of the apostolic vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe.
    - appointed Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France and Archbishop Anthony
    Colin Fisher of Sydney, Australia, as members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu May 7 22:23:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXV - # 85
    DATE 07-05-2015

    Summary:
    - European Churches and Ecclesiastic Communities: Collaborating in Solidarity to
    Welcome Immigrants
    - Pope thanks Bishops of Mali for Safeguarding Interreligious Dialogue
    - Pope Francis receives Sporting Association of Lazio, Italy: True Sports help overcome Situations of Injustice
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    European Churches and Ecclesiastic Communities: Collaborating in Solidarity to
    Welcome Immigrants
    Vatican City,7 May 2015 (VIS) ? This morning Pope Francis received members of the joint committee of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), whose objective is facilitating ecumenism throughout the continent, where many of the
    divisions and wars between Christians began. The current situation is very different. Thanks to ecumenical dialogue, ecclesiastic communities have taken great steps on the path to reconciliation and peace, as demonstrated by the recent European Ecumenical Assemblies and the Ecumenical Charter written in Strasbourg, France in 2001. These are landmarks in the collaboration between the
    CEC and the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) that give rise
    to the hope of achieving full and visible union between believers in Christ. The Holy Father, who noted that the ecumenical journey, even with all itsdifficulties, is already an integral part of the process of reconciliation and communion, recalled that the conciliar decree Unitatis Redintegratio affirms
    that the division between Christians ?damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature?. ?This is evident,? he stated, ?when, for example, the
    European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have different points of view on
    important anthropological or ethical questions. Nevertheless, I hope that opportunities for common reflection in light of Sacred Scripture and shared tradition will not be lacking and that they will be fruitful ? and that we might
    find common answers to the questions that contemporary society asks of Christians. The closer we are to Christ, the closer we are united among ourselves.?
    ?Today the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities face new and decisive
    challenges, that can only be effectively answered by speaking with one voice,? the Pope affirmed.?I am thinking, for example, of the challenges of legislation
    that, in the name of a misunderstood principle of tolerance wind up blocking citizens from freely expressing and practicing their religious convictions peacefully and legitimately. Moreover, faced with the attitude that Europe seems
    to have toward the dramatic and often tragic emigration of thousands of persons
    fleeing war, persecution, and misery, the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have the duty to promote solidarity and hospitality. European Christians are called upon to intercede with prayer and by actively working to bring dialogue and peace to current conflicts.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope thanks Bishops of Mali for Safeguarding Interreligious Dialogue
    Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? The peaceful coexistence among believers of different religions, the safeguarding of interreligious dialogue, the common commitment of Christians and Muslims in defense of cultural heritage, promotion
    of women, and the consolidation of the family were some of the topics that Pope
    Francis addressed in the speech he delivered this morning to the bishops of the
    Episcopal Conference of Mali, at the end of their ?ad Limina? visit. Following are extensive excerpts from the address.
    ?I would like to direct your attention toward the person of Christ in the delicate situation that your country has faced in recent years, including security challenges. At times, this situation has undermined the coexistence between the various sectors of society as well as the harmony between men and women of different religions present in the land of Mali,which is rich with a glorious past, synonymous with admirable traditions among which are tolerance and cohesion. I thank your Episcopal Conference for knowing how to preserve the
    spirit of interreligious dialogue in this delicate context. The common commitment of Christians and Muslims to safeguard the Mali's cultural treasures,
    especially the large libraries of Timbuktu, patrimony of humanity, is an eloquent example. When you return, I want you to express my nearness, not only to your faithful, but also to your fellow citizens of all social classes and religions, men and women of good will involved in the fight against intolerance
    and exclusion.?
    ?In this situation, the Christian communities and their pastors are called to give an even greater witness to their faith based on the unconditional acceptance of the Gospel values. You are already following this path in translating the Bible into local languages because, in order to live the Word of
    God and towitness to it faithfully, we must first know it, diligently study it,
    and assimilate it. In this sense, the efforts made in your dioceses to develop new Catechesis manuals are to be welcomed. Thanks to a solid formation, the lives of the faithful will be even more rooted in faith and strengthened to withstand all threats.?
    ?Despite the serious problems facing it, the Church in Mali shows a beautiful dynamic in its work of evangelization, preserving a profound respect of conscience. Christ's followers grow in number and fervor. But the Christian witness of the family still needs greater coherence. In your cultural context, also marked by divorce and polygamy, Catholics are called upon to concretely proclaim, through their witness, to the Gospel, life, and the family. I also encourage you to continue your pastoral work, paying particular attention to the
    situation of women: promoting the role of women in society and fighting against
    abuse and violencetoward women is also a way of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus
    Christ, who chose to be born of a woman, the Virgin Mary.?
    ?If in any particular church the synergy inspired by charity is needed to ensure
    its credibility, then your context of the charity and unity lived in the Church
    are among the most important signs of fruitful dialogue with other religions, an
    expression of authentic Christian witness... It is to be hoped that even nowadays these witnesses of members of other religions toward our Christian communities multiply.?
    ?Likewise, the Gospel lived in its authentic dimension of charity should inspire
    social ministry. The Church is present in Mali in the areas of education for peace and your Christian communities actively contribute to promoting genuine national reconciliation. In congratulating you for your pastoral sensitivity in
    the field of promoting the human person without consideration limited to ethnic
    or religiousaffiliation, I would like to pay tribute to the many Christians who
    spread the culture of solidarity and hospitality, especially in facing the violence of the last years.?
    ?Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, strengthened by the Lord's promise to be with
    his family until the end of time, I am convinced that despite the difficulties on their path, the Church in Mali will continue to be a testament to hope and peace.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope Francis receives Sporting Association of Lazio, Italy: True Sports help overcome Situations of Injustice
    Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Seven thousand players, managers, members, and
    supporters of the Sporting Association of Lazio (Societa Sportiva Lazio), one of
    the Italian capital city's two football teams, were welcomed this afternoon in the Paul VI Audience Hall to meet with the Pope. The Association was created 15
    years ago when a group of youths decided to create a club open to the youth of the city that would perpetuate the moral and ethical values of the sport. ?At that time,? Pope Francis said, ?organized sports were a privilege of the rich. The intention of the founding group was to make it accessible at all levels and
    in all social categories. I encourage you, therefore, to continue being welcoming, to continue to value various talents. May your sporting association always be an open house where fraternity and harmonywithout discrimination can be found.?
    The club's motto is a phrase from the Roman historian and politician Sallust: ?Concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maximae dilabuntur? (small things thrive with harmony; discord brings the greatest things to ruin). The Pope asserted that the sporting association's long history has confirmed that truth,
    enriched by different associated activities, structured in various sporting sections, and united by the Olympic spirit and mutual solidarity. ?One of [your]
    merits is that of having worked to bring equal status to all sports. In Italy, as in my country, Argentina, too, there is the risk of speaking always about football and neglecting other sports. Instead, every sports discipline has its value, not only physical or social, but also moral since it offers the possibility to people, especially to children and the young, to develop balance,
    self-control, sacrifice, and loyalty towards others. I want toemphasize this last one: loyalty. Loyalty towards others because betrayal is increasing a bit everywhere...Loyalty! Sports allows it to grow.?
    ?The Bible teaches us,? the Pope concluded, ?that the human person is a unity: spirit and body. I therefore encourage you to always cultivate, together with sporting activities ? the religious and spiritual dimension. ? We must not neglect studies, friendship, or the service of the poor either. We can't overlook these things to do just one thing. ...Thanks be to God we have wonderful examples of men and women athletes, even great champions, who never stopped living faithfully and serving others. In fact, true sports allows us to
    build a more fraternal and supportive world, helping overcome situations of injustice and of human and social discomfort.?

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father received in audience five prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, on their ?ad Limina? visit: - Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako,
    -Bishop Jonas Dembele of Kayes,
    - Bishop Jean-Gabriel Diarra of San,
    - Bishop Augustin Traore of Segou, and
    - Bishop Jean-Baptiste Tiamaof Sikasso.
    Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in audience Archbishop Luis
    Hector Villalba of Tucuman, Argentina.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father:
    - appointed Msgr. Lucio Bonora, of the clergy of the Diocese of Treviso, Italy,
    as a judge of the Ecclesiastic Tribunal of Vatican City State. The Holy Father has also appointed Fr. Paolo Scevola, of the clergy of the Diocese of Vigevano,
    Italy, as an actuary notary of the same tribunal. Both will continue in their roles as officials of the Secretary of State in the General Affairs section.
    - appointed Bishop Esteban Escudero Torres as auxiliary of Valencia (area 13,090, population 3,225,000, Catholics 3,041,000, priests 1,541, permanent deacons 16, religious 4,785), Spain, assigning him the Titular See of Diano. Bishop Escudero Torres was previously bishop of Palencia, Spain.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue May 12 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 088
    DATE 12-05-2015

    Summary:
    - Where there is no justice, there is no peace
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Where there is no justice, there is no peace
    Vatican City, 12 May 2015 (VIS) - "Peace is built day by day. ... It is not an
    industrial product, it is an artisanal product. It is crafted every day with our
    work, with our life, with our closeness", said Pope Francis yesterday to the children of the Peace Factory, the Italian association that aims to promote multi-ethnic integration and to raise awareness among spiritual leaders, politicians and in education so that they use a language of peace.
    Francis answered the very direct and concrete questions posed by thirteen of the seven thousand children who filled the Paul VI Hall. Some were very personal: for instance, a girl asked if, like her, the Pope ever argued with his
    siblings or other members of his family. "We have all argued with someone in our
    family", replied the Pope. "It is part of life, as one sibling wants to play one
    game, another wants to play a different one ... but in the end the important thing
    is to make peace. ... Do not end the day without making peace. At times I may be
    right and the other may be wrong. So how can I apologise? I don't, but I make gesture of closeness and the friendship continues. ... I too have argued many times, even now... I lose my temper. But I always try to make peace. It is human
    to disagree. The important thing is that it does not linger, and that there is peace again afterwards".
    Another child asked if the Pope ever tired of being surrounded by so many people, and if he too needed some peace every now and then. "At times I would like to be calmer, to rest a little more, it is true", he admitted. "But being with people does not take away peace. ... What takes peace away is not caring for
    one another. Jealousy, envy and greed take away peace. But being with people is
    good, it does not stand in the way of peace! It tires me a little because it is
    tiring and I am not a young man ... but it does not take away peace".
    Other questions were more general, such as that of an Egyptian child who asked
    why people in positions of power did not help schools. "It is a question we can
    expand", answered the Pope. "Why do many powerful people not want peace? Because
    they live from war, from the arms industry. Some powerful people earn from the production of arms, and sell weapons to one country that fights against another,
    and then they sell them to the other. It is the industry of death! And they earn
    money in this way. As you know, greed causes so much damage: the desire to have
    more and more money. When we see that everything revolves around money - the economic system revolves around money and not people - we make sacrifices and make war in order to defend money. And for this reason many people do not want peace. They earn more through war. They earn money, but we lose lives, we lose culture, we lose education, we lose many things. An elderly priest I met years ago used to say, 'the devil enters via the wallet'".
    The Pope explained to another child who asked for a definition of peace that "peace firstly means there are no wars ... but it also means that there is friendship between all, that every day a step ahead is made for justice, so that
    there are no more children who are hungry, that there are no more sick children
    who do not have the possibility of receiving healthcare. Doing all of this means
    making peace. Peace involves work, it is not about staying calm and doing nothing. No! True peace means working so that everyone has a solution to the problems, to the needs, that they have in their land, in their homeland, in their family, in their society".
    "In your opinion, will we all be equal one day?" was another of the questions.
    "We can answer this question in two ways", replied the Holy Father. "We are all
    equal - all of us - but this truth is not recognised, this equality is not recognised, and for this reason some people are, we can say, happier than others. But this is not a right! We all have the same rights. When we do not see
    this, society is unjust. It does not follow the rule of justice, and where there
    is no justice, there cannot be peace. I would like to repeat this with you: where there is no justice, there is no peace!".
    The meeting concluded with a chorus of seven thousand voices, repeating with the Pope, "Where there is no justice, there is no peace".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 12 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Ariel Edgardo Torrado Mosconi, auxiliary of the diocese of Santiago del Estero, Argentina, as coadjutor of the diocese of Nueve de Julio, (area 57,016, population 442,000, Catholics 395,000, priests 46, permanent deacons 5, religious 103) Argentina.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed May 13 08:37:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 089
    DATE 13-05-2015

    Summary:
    - The three key words of the family: please, thank you, sorry
    - The Pope greets the organisers of the Concert for the Poor: "It will be a concert of joy"
    - Caritas reveals the strength of Christian love
    - Joint Statement of the Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the State of Palestine at the end of the Plenary Meeting
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    The three key words of the family: please, thank you, sorry
    Vatican City, 13 May 2015 (VIS) - "Please, thank you and sorry" are the three words that Pope Francis "would write on the door of every family home" as they are the key to living well and in peace both inside and outside the home. They are simple words, much easier to say than to put into practice, but "they contain great strength: the strength of protecting the home, even through a thousand difficulties and trials; instead, when they are lacking, cracks gradually open up that can even lead it to collapse".
    The Pope dedicated the catechesis of today's general audience to these three words, normally considered as the words of politeness. "A great bishop, St. Francis of Sales, said that kindness is halfway to holiness. However, beware", he warned, "as in history we have also known a formalism of good manners that can become a mask to conceal an arid heart and lack of interest in others. ... Not
    even religion is immune to this risk, in which formal observance may slip into spiritual worldliness. The devil who tempts Jesus shows off his good manners and
    cites the Sacred Scriptures. His style appears correct, but his intention is to
    deviate from the truth of God's love".
    The first word is "please. "To enter into the life of another person, even when
    that person forms part of our life, requires the delicacy of a non-intrusive attitude, that renews trust and respect. Confidence, then, does not authorise us
    to take everything for granted. Love, the more intimate and profound it is, the
    more it demands respect for freedom and the capacity to wait for the other to open the door of his or her heart".
    The second phrase is "thank you". "At times", observed the Holy Father, "it seems that we are becoming a civilisation of poor manners and unpleasant words.
    ... Politeness and the capacity to thank are seen as a sign of weakness, and at
    times even arouse distrust. This tendency should be opposed within the family itself. We must become intransigent in the education of gratitude and recognition: the dignity of the person and social justice both come from this. If this approach is neglected in family life, it will also be lost in social life".
    The third word is "sorry", as "when it is lacking, small cracks become larger ...
    to the point of becoming deep trenches. It is not by chance that in the prayer taught by Jesus, the Lord's prayer that summarises all the essential questions for our life, we find the expression 'forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us'. Acknowledging our errors and being willing to restore what has been removed - respect, sincerity, love - makes one worthy of forgiveness. ... If we are not capable of apologising, it means we are not capable
    of forgiveness either. ... Many hurt feelings, many lesions in the family begin
    with the loss of those precious words: 'I am sorry'. In married life there are many arguments ... but I advise you never to let the day end without making peace.
    And for this, a small gesture is enough".
    "These three key words for the family are simple words, and perhaps at first they make us smile. But ... perhaps our education neglects them too much. May the
    Lord help us to restore them to their rightful place in our heart, in our home,
    and also in our civil co-existence".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope greets the organisers of the Concert for the Poor: "It will be a concert of joy"
    Vatican City, 13 May 2015 (VIS) - Before today's general audience, in the room
    adjacent to the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father met with the organisers and sponsors of the "Concert for the Poor", to take place tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the
    Paul VI Hall in support of the Pope's charitable works. The event will be sponsored by the Apostolic Almoner, the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Promoting New Evangelisation, and the St. Matthew Foundation in memory of Cardinal Van Thuan.
    "I thank all of you for everything you have done, that you do, and will do for
    this concert, which brings us together", said the Pontiff. "Music has the capacity to unite souls and to unite us with the Lord. It is horizontal and vertical, it lifts us up and it liberates us from our troubles. Even sad music,
    I think of mournful adagios, can help us in difficult moments".
    "Many thanks, as it does good to all of us to find spirit amid the materialism
    that always surrounds us and brings us down, taking away our joy. And as believers we have the joy of a Father Who loves us all, and the joy of fraternity with all. This is the joy that you now sow in this concert. It will be a concert to sow joy, not the type of joy that entertains for a moment, no: the seed will remain there in the souls of us all, and will bring good to all. thank you from the heart for the good you do".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Caritas reveals the strength of Christian love
    Vatican City, 13 May 2015 (VIS) - "Whoever lives the mission of Caritas is not
    simple charitable worker, but is a true witness of Christ. He is a person who seeks Christ and allows Christ to seek him; people who love with the spirit of Christ, a spirit of gratuitousness. ... All of our strategies and plans remain empty unless we carry this love in us", said Pope Francis in the homily he pronounced yesterday in St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the beginning of
    the 20th General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis.
    The Pope commented on the reading from the Acts of the Apostles in which the jailer of the prison at Philippi, where Paul and Silas were imprisoned, following the miracle of the earthquake that opened the doors of the prison, pleaded for salvation. The story tells us that the man immediately "took the necessary steps on the path towards faith and salvation: together with his household, he listened to the Word of the Lord; washed the wounds of Paul and Silas; received Baptism with his entire family; and finally, full of joy, he welcomed Paul and Silas into his home, setting the table and offering them something to eat".
    "We can see in this gesture the entire vocation of Caritas. Caritas is now a great Confederation, widely recognised throughout the world for its work and accomplishments. Caritas is a reality of the Church in many parts of the world and must still seek a greater expansion in the different parishes and communities, to renew what took place in the early days of the Church. In fact,
    the source of all your service lies in the simple and docile welcome of God and
    neighbour. This welcome is first personally experienced by you, so that you may
    then go out into the world, and there, to serve others in the name of Christ, whom you have met and whom you will continue to meet in every brother and sister
    that you will approach as your neighbour. Thanks to this, you will actually avoid the risk of being reduced to a mere humanitarian organisation. And the Caritas of each particular Church, even the smallest, is the same: there is no large Caritas and small Caritas, they are all equal. Let us ask the Lord for the
    grace to understand the true dimension of Caritas; the grace of not being deceived into thinking that a well-organised centralism is the road to take; the
    grace of understanding that Caritas is always in the periphery, in each particular Church; and the grace of believing that central Caritas is merely a help, service and experience of communion but not the overall head".
    "In this way, we can serve everyone and set the table for all. This is also a beautiful image that the Word of God offers us today: setting the table. Even now, God sets the table of the Eucharist. Caritas sets many tables for the hungry. In recent months you launched the great campaign 'One human family, food
    for all'. There are still so many people today who do not have enough to eat. The planet has enough food for all, but it seems that there is a lack of willingness to share it with everyone. We ought to set the table for all, and ask that there be a table for all. We must do what we can so that everyone has something to eat, but we must also remind the powerful of the Earth that God will call them to judgement one day and there it will be revealed if they really
    tried to provide food for Him in every person (cf. Matt.25: 35) and if they did
    what they could to preserve the environment so that it could produce this food".
    "And thinking about the table of the Eucharist, we cannot forget our Christian
    brothers and sisters who have been violently deprived of the food for the body and for the soul: they have been driven from their homes and their churches - at
    times destroyed. I renew the appeal not to forget these people and these intolerable injustices. Together with many other charitable organisations of the
    Church, Caritas therefore reveals the power of Christian love and the desire of
    the Church to reach out to Jesus in every person, especially the poor and suffering. This is the path that lies ahead of us and it is with this perspective that I hope that you will carry out your work during these days".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Joint Statement of the Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the State of Palestine at the end of the Plenary Meeting
    Vatican City, 13 May 2015 (VIS) - The Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and
    the State of Palestine, which is working on a Comprehensive Agreement following
    on the Basic Agreement, signed on 15 February 2000, has held a Plenary Session in the Vatican to acknowledge the work done at an informal level by the joint technical group following the last official meeting held in Ramallah at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine on 6 February 2014.
    The talks were chaired by Mgr Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States, and by Ambassador Rawan Sulaiman, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Affairs of the State of Palestine.
    The discussions took place in a cordial and constructive atmosphere. Taking up
    the issues already examined at an informal level, the Commission noted with great satisfaction the progress achieved in formulating the text of the Agreement, which deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine.
    Both Parties agreed that the work of the Commission on the text of the Agreement has been concluded, and that the agreement will be submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a date in the near future for the signing.
    The members of the Delegation of the Holy See were Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States; Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, apostolic delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine; Archbishop Antonio Franco, apostolic nuncio; Fr. Luciano Lorusso, under-secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Msgr. Alberto Ortega, official of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State; and Fr. Emil Salayta, judicial vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
    The members of the Palestinian Delegation were Ambassador Rawan Sulaiman, assistant minister of foreign affairs for multilateral affairs; Ambassador Issa
    Kassissieh, representative of the State of Palestine to the Holy See; Ammar Hijazi, and deputy assistant minister of foreign affairs for multilateral affairs; and Azem Bishara, legal adviser of the PLO.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 13 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Ambrose Rebello as bishop of Aurangabad (area 64,525, population 10,119 485, Catholics 15,750, priests 45, religious 218), India. The bishop-elect was born in Nirmal, India in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1979. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Aurangabad, including parish vicar and parish priest in a number of parishes. He is currently parish priest of the
    Karuna Matha Mandir Parish, Vaijapoor, vicar general of Aurangabad, director of
    the diocesan pastoral centre, and chancellor and vice director of the Education
    Society of the diocese. He succeeds Bishop Edwin Colaco, whose resignation from
    the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 13 May 2015 (VIS) - We inform our readers that no VIS bulletin will be transmitted tomorrow, Thursday 14 May, the Solemnity of the Lord's Ascension and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Friday, 15 May.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue May 19 08:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 092
    DATE 19-05-2015

    Summary:
    - Statistics on the Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    - The Pope to the Italian bishops: denounce corruption, which impoverishes all - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Statistics on the Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Vatican City, 19 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father will make an apostolic trip to Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 6 June. The following are some statistical data on the Catholic Church in this country, from the Central Office
    of Church Statistics.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina has a surface area of 51,197 sq. km. and a population of
    3,833,000 inhabitants, of whom 43,900 are Catholics - 11.5% of the population. There are four ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 304 parishes and one parish centre. The apostolate consists of six bishops, 624 priests, 14 men religious and 537 women religious. There are 68 catechists and 120 major seminarians.
    The Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina has 16 educational centres including pre-school, primary, middle, secondary and high schools, and a university. There are also six clinics, four rest homes for the elderly and disabled, four orphanages and nurseries, six family counselling centres and life
    protection centres, three centres for social education or re-education, and six
    centres of other types.

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope to the Italian bishops: denounce corruption, which impoverishes all
    Vatican City, 19 May 2015 (VIS) - "Our vocation is to listen when the Lord asks
    us: 'Console my people'. Indeed, we are asked to console, to help, to encourage,
    without discrimination, all our brothers who are oppressed by the weight of their crosses, without ever tiring of working to lift them up again with the strength that comes only from God", said Pope Francis yesterday afternoon to the
    bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference, as he inaugurated the 68th assembly, to be held in the Vatican to analyse the reception of the Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel).
    Proclaiming the Gospel today, a difficult moment in history, requires prelates
    to "go against the grain: or rather, to be joyful witnesses of the Risen Christ
    to transmit joy and hope to others", said the Holy Father, who went on to illustrate the importance of the "ecclesial sensibility", which means assuming the same sentiments as Christ, "sentiments of humility, compassion, concreteness
    and wisdom".
    A sensibility that also involves "not being timid ... in denouncing and fighting
    against a widespread mentality of the public and private corruption that shamelessly impoverishes families, pensioners, honest workers and Christian communities, discarding the young, who are systematically deprived of any hope for their future, and above all marginalising the weak and the needy. It is an ecclesial sensibility that, as good pastors, makes us go forth towards the People of God to defend them from ideological colonisations that take away their
    identity and human dignity".
    This sensibility is also made tangible in pastoral decisions and in the elaboration of documents "where the abstract theoretical-doctrinal aspect must not prevail, as if our directions were intended not for our People or our country, but only for a few scholars or specialists - instead we must make the effort to translate them into concrete and comprehensible proposals", emphasised
    Francis.
    The strengthening of the essential role of the laity is another of the concrete
    applications of pastoral sensibility, since "laypeople with an authentic Christian formation should not need a bishop-guide ... to assume their own responsibilities at all levels, political to social, economic to legislative. However, they do need a bishop-pastor".
    Finally, the ecclesial sensibility is revealed in a tangible way "in collegiality and in the communion between bishops and their priests; in the communion between bishops themselves; between dioceses which are materially and
    vocationally rich and those in difficulty; between the periphery and the centre;
    between episcopal conferences and the bishops, and the Successor of Peter". He remarked, "in some parts of the world we see a widespread weakening of collegiality, both in pastoral planning and in the shared undertaking of economic and financial commitments. The habit of checking the reception of programmes and the implementation of projects is lacking. For example, conferences or events are organised which promote the usual voices, anaesthetising the Communities, approving choices, opinions and people, instead
    of allowing us to be transported towards the horizons where the Holy Spirit asks
    us to go".
    "Why do we let the religious institutes, monasteries and congregations age so much, almost to the point of no longer giving evangelical witness faithful to the founding charism? Why do we not try to regroup them before it is too late?".
    This is a global problem that, as the Holy Father stated, indicates a lack of ecclesial sensibility.
    "I will end here, after have presented to you a few examples of weakened ecclesial sensibility due to the need to continually face enormous global problems and the crisis that spares not even the Christian and ecclesial identity itself", he concluded, asking the Lord to grant to all during the Jubilee Year of Mercy "the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful God's mercy,
    with which we are all called to console every man and every woman of our time".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 19 May 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Rev. Fr. James Massa and Rev. Fr. Witold Mroziewski as auxiliaries of Brooklyn (area 466, population 4,838,406, Catholics 1,403,137, priests 604, permanent deacons 225, religious 1,053), U.S.A.
    Bishop-elect Massa was born in Jersey City, U.S.A., in 1960 and was ordained priest in 1986. He holds a master's degree in theology from the Yale University
    School of Divinity, New Haven, and a doctorate in systematic theology from Fordham University, New York. He has served in a number of roles in the diocese
    of Brooklyn, including parish vicar, chaplain and professor at the Kansas Newman
    College, professor at the Pope John XXIII national seminary and the seminary of
    the Immaculate Conception, executive director of the ecumenical and interreligious committee of the U.S.A. episcopal conference, consultor of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, professor of the St. Joseph seminary, moderator of the curia and administrator of the Holy Name Parish.
    Bishop-elect Mroziewski was born in Augustow, Poland in 1966 and was ordained priest in 1991. He holds master's degrees in theology and canon law, and a doctorate in canon law from the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. He has served in a number of roles, including parish vicar in the diocese of Lomza, Poland, and in Brooklyn, parish vicar, administrator, parish priest, judge at the diocesan tribunal, coordinator of the Polish apostolate, adjunct promoter of
    justice for criminal causes, member of the presbyteral council and defender of the bond. He is currently parish priest of the Holy Cross parish in Maspeth.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue May 26 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 097
    DATE 26-05-2015

    Summary:
    - The whole world continues to be your cloister, says the Pope to the Order of Friars Minor
    - Francis commemorates St. Philip Neri on the fifth centenary of his birth
    - Meeting of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops closes

    ___________________________________________________________

    The whole world continues to be your cloister, says the Pope to the Order of Friars Minor
    Vatican City, 26 May 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor, dedicated this time to two key
    aspects of their identity: minority and fraternity.
    In his address, the Holy Father remarked that minority "calls us to be and to feel small before God, entrusting ourselves entirely to his infinite mercy. The
    perspective of mercy is incomprehensible to those who do not recognise themselves as 'minor': that is, as small, needy and sinners before God. The more
    aware we are of this, the closer we are to salvation; the more convinced we are
    of being sinners, the more disposed we are to be saved. ... Minority also means
    coming out of ourselves, of leaving behind our preconceptions and personal views; it also means going beyond structures - that are of course useful if used
    wisely - and beyond our habits and certainties, to bear witness to real closeness to the poor, needy and marginalised, with an authentic attitude of sharing and service".
    Similarly, the dimension of fraternity is essential for bearing witness to the
    Gospel. "In the primitive Church, Christians lived in fraternal community to the
    extent that ... the people were surprised to see them so united in love, so willing to give and to forgive each other", commented the Pope. "Your religious
    family is called upon to express this concrete fraternity, by recovering this mutual trust in interpersonal relations, so that the world may see and believe,
    acknowledging that Christ's love heals wounds and renders us as one".
    In this respect, Francis invited the Franciscans to be "bringers of mercy, reconciliation and peace", in obedience to their charism which has made them an
    "outbound congregation" since their origins. "It is said that when the first friars were asked to show their cloisters, they climbed a hill and, showing the
    land around, as far as the eye could see, they answered, 'This is our cloister'.
    Dear brothers, continue to go into this cloister, which is the whole world, driven by Christ's love, as St. Francis invites you to do ... when he says ... 'I
    counsel, warn and exhort my friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, that when they go about through the world, they are not to quarrel nor contend in words, nor are they to judge others, but they are to be meek, peaceable and modest, meek and humble, speaking uprightly to all, as is fitting. ... Into whatever house they may
    enter, first let them say: 'Peace to this house', and ... it is lawful to eat any
    of the foods which are placed befor them".
    The Pope stressed that St. Francis' exhortation remains valid. "It is a prophecy of fraternity and minority for today's world too. How important it is to live a Christian and religious existence without losing oneself in disputes and gossip, cultivating a serene dialogue with all, ... with modest means, announcing peace and living in a sober fashion, content with what is offered to
    you. This also requires decisive commitment to transparency, to the ethical and
    fraternal use of goods, in a style of sobriety. If, instead, you are attached to
    worldly goods and wealth, and place your security there, it will be the Lord Himself Who will despoil you of this spirit of worldliness in order to preserve
    this valuable heritage of minority and poverty to which He has called you through St. Francis. You will either be freely poor and minor, or find yourselves denuded".
    "The Holy Spirit is the inspiration for religious life", continued Pope Francis. "When consecrated persons let themselves be enlightened and guided by the Spirit, they discover in this supernatural vision the secret of their fraternity, the inspiration for their service to their brothers, the strength of
    their prophetic presence in the Church and in the world. The light and the strength of the Spirit will also help you face the challenges that lie before you, especially the numerical decrease, ageing and diminution of new vocations".
    "The people of God love you. Cardinal Quarracino once said: 'In our cities there are groups or people who are against the clergy, and when a priest passes
    by they say certain things to him - in Argentina they call them "crows". But I have never, ever heard these remarks in the presence of a Franciscan habit. Why?
    You have inherited authority with the people of God with your minority, fraternity, meekness, humility, and poverty. Please preserve this! Do not lose it. The people love you".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Francis commemorates St. Philip Neri on the fifth centenary of his birth
    Vatican City, 26 May 2015 (VIS) - This year marks the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Philip Neri (Florence, 25 July 1515 - Rome 26 May 1595), known as the "apostle of Rome" and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory that, as Pope Francis writes in a letter addressed to the procurator general Fr. Mario Alberto Aviles, is characterised by "an intense and joyful spiritual life: prayer, listening and conversation on the Word of God, preparation to receive the sacraments in a dignified way, formation for Christian life through the history of the saints and the Church, and works of charity for the benefit of the poorest".
    The Holy Father, joining with those who commemorate the figure and the work of
    this saint, who spent sixty years of his life in Rome, remarks that thanks to the apostolate of St. Philip, commitment to saving souls "was restored as a priority in the Church's activity, and it was newly understood that pastors must
    stay with their people to guide them and sustain them in their faith. Philip was
    a guide for many people, announcing the Gospel and dispensing the Sacraments. In
    particular, he dedicated himself with great passion to the ministry of Confession, up to the evening of his last day on earth. His concern was that of
    constantly following the spiritual growth of his disciples, accompanying them in
    the bitterness of life and opening up to Christian hope. ... His spiritual paternity shines through all his work, characterised by trust in people, by his
    rejection of gloomy and sombre tones, by his spirit of festivity and joy, by his
    conviction that grace does not restrain nature but instead heals, strengthens and perfects it".
    The Apostle of Rome also remains as "a shining model of the permanent mission of the Church in the world. The perspective of his approach to others, bearing witness to all the love and mercy of the Lord, can constitute a valid example for bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful. From the very first
    years of his presence in Rome, he undertook an apostolate of personal relations
    and friendship, as the ideal route to opening up to the encounter with Jesus and
    the Gospel. ... He loved spontaneity, shunned artifice, chose the most enjoyable
    methods to educate in Christian virtues, and at the same time offered a healthy
    discipline that implied the exercise of will to welcome Christ in the fabric of
    one's life. His profound conviction was that the path to sanctity was based on the grace of an encounter with the Lord, accessible to any person ... who welcomes
    him with the wonder of children".
    "The permanent state of mission of the Church requires that you, the spiritual
    children of St. Philip Neri, do not settle for a mediocre life; on the contrary,
    in the school of your Founder you are called upon to be men of prayer and witness to draw people to Christ", concludes the Pope. "In our times, especially
    in the world of the young who were so dear to Fr. Philip, there is a great need
    for people who pray and who know how to teach others to pray".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Meeting of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops closes
    Vatican City, 26 May 2015 (VIS) - The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops
    today completed its two-day meeting to prepare for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly on the theme "The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church
    and in the contemporary world", to be held from 4 to 25 October in the Vatican.
    The Council was chaired by the Holy Father, who met with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri and Bishop Fabio Fabene (respectively secretary general and under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops) last week, and whose presence underlined the importance he attributes to the current Synod path.
    Yesterday, 25 May, and this morning, the Council closely examined the plan for
    the Instrumentum laboris resulting from the Relatio Synodi of the Extraordinary
    Assembly, integrated with numerous contributions provided by the answers to the
    questions included in the Lineamenta sent by the Episcopal Conferences and other
    competent entities, as well as the many contributions received by the Secretariat General from various ecclesial bodies and individual faithful. An extensive and detailed study of the text has generated proposals and contributions for its integration and improvement. The text, thus revised and shared by the members of the Council, has been entrusted to the Secretariat General for its final redaction, translation in various languages and publication, which will take place in a few weeks' time.
    Following the examination of the Instrumentum laboris, proposals from the Secretariat General for updating the working method for the upcoming Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops were presented.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Jun 3 09:00:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 103
    DATE 03-06-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: the family and the downward spiral of poverty
    - The Pope prays for victims of the Yangtze shipwreck and blesses young Polish faithful in Lednica
    - Cardinal Parolin at UNESCO: the Church has never regarded culture or education
    as mere tools of evangelisation
    - Other Pontifical Acts
    - Notice

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: the family and the downward spiral of poverty
    Vatican City, 3 June 2015 (VIS) - The living conditions that put the family to
    the test and render it vulnerable, starting with poverty, will be the themes of
    Pope Francis' catechesis starting from today, he announced to the twenty thousand faithful attending this week's Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square.
    The Holy Father spoke about the misery and degradation that can accompany poverty, in the suburbs of metropolises and in rural areas alike, a situation that is often aggravated by war that has a profound impact on civilians. "In truth, war is the 'mother of all poverty', a great predator of lives, souls, and
    of the dearest and most sacred affections", he said.
    However, he added, there are many families who, although poor, seek to live their daily lives with dignity, often openly trusting in God's blessing. Nevertheless, this "must not justify our indifference, but rather increase our shame! It is almost a miracle that, even in poverty, families continue to form,
    and indeed preserve as best they can, the special humanity of their bonds. It is
    a fact that irritates those planners of well-being who consider sentiments, procreation and family bonds as a variable secondary to the quality of life. Instead, we should kneel before these families, who are a true school of humanity and who save society from barbarism".
    "What will become of us if we give in to the blackmail of violence and money, and go so far as to renounce the affections of the family? A new form of civil ethics will arise only when those responsible in public life recognise the social bond, starting with the fight against the downward spiral of poverty in the family, that leads us to the abyss". The Pope also remarked on the contradiction inherent in today's economy that often appears to specialise in individual well-being, but practices the widespread exploitation of family relationships. "The immense labour of the family is not quoted on balance sheets, naturally!" he exclaimed. "It is not merely a question of bread. We are
    talking about work, education, healthcare. It is important to be clear about this".
    "We must endeavour to stay ever closer to families afflicted by poverty", he repeated. "In effect, social misery affects the family and at times destroys it.
    The lack or loss of work, or its precariousness, have serious repercussions on family life, putting relationships under stress. The living conditions in the most disadvantaged areas, with problems regarding housing and transport, as well
    as the reduction of social, healthcare and educational services, cause further difficulties. Added to these material factors there is also the damage caused to
    the family by false models, propagated by the mass media, based on consumerism and the cult of appearances, which affect the poorest social classes and increase the disintegration of family bonds".
    "The Church is Mother, and must never forget the tragedy of her children. She too must be poor, to become fruitful and to respond to so much suffering. A poor
    Church is a Church that practices a voluntary simplicity in her own life - in her institutions, in the lifestyle of her members - to break down walls of separation, especially those that separate us from the poor. This takes prayer and action. Let us pray intensively to the Lord to awaken us, to make our Christian families agents in this revolution of family closeness that is now so
    necessary. This is what the Church has been made of since the very beginning. And let us not forget", he warned, "that the judgement of the needy, the small and the poor prefigures the judgement of God."

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope prays for victims of the Yangtze shipwreck and blesses young Polish faithful in Lednica
    Vatican City, 3 June 2015 (VIS) - In his greetings following today's catechesis, Pope Francis mentioned that the month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and that tomorrow, Thursday, is the Feast of Corpus Christi. "We learn from the Lord, who made Himself into sustenance so as to be more available to others, serving all those in need, especially the poorest families".
    He then greeted the young Polish faithful attending the 19th meeting at Lednica, the town by the lake where it is believed that Mieszko, the first Polish monarch, was baptised in the year 966. "I share in your joy, your enthusiasm and your desire for the Holy Spirit. ... Your life, like the life of ...
    Jesus' disciples, cannot be empty, mundane, without purpose. Open your heart to
    the Holy Spirit so that it will be filled with His gifts. Ask Him to accompany you every day in your work, your studies, in prayer, in your decisions, in overcoming yourselves and in doing good. ... With Him, you will transform the world. ... He will help you to take up the great dialogue with God, with humanity
    and with the world in this stage of history".
    The Holy Father also expressed his closeness to the Chinese people following the tragic disaster on the river Yangtze, in which a cruise ship capsized, causing hundreds of deaths. He gave the assurance of his prayers for the victims, their families, and all those engaged in rescue operations.
    Finally, he dedicated some special words to Italian workers for Whirlpool, threatened with redundancy. He expressed his hope that this serious employment crisis may resolved swiftly and equitably with respect for all and, in particularly, for families. "The entire country faces a very difficult situation", he affirmed. "Strong commitment is called for to open up paths of hope".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Parolin at UNESCO: the Church has never regarded culture or education
    as mere tools of evangelisation
    Vatican City, 3 June 2015 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin spoke this morning at the conference "Educating today and tomorrow", organised by the Mission of the Holy See permanent observer at UNESCO, with the Congregation for Catholic Education, to celebrate 70 years since the founding of
    this United Nations organ, the 50th anniversary of the conciliar declaration "Gravissimum educationis", a key text for Catholic education, and 25 years since
    the apostolic constitution "Ex corde Ecclesiae", a document of reference for Catholic universities.
    In his discourse the cardinal presented an overview of the history of the educational service offered by the Catholic Church since its origins, emphasising that the pedagogy of the Church is based on biblical anthropology in
    which the relationship of love and reciprocity between man and God appears from
    Genesis onwards. He also underlined the importance attributed to this theme by Vatican Council II, in which a full and complete education is proposed, aimed at
    laying the foundations for an inclusive and peaceful society open to dialogue, and went on to mention current educational challenges and perspectives, such as
    the extreme fragmentation of knowledge and the worrying lack of communication between different disciplines. The Secretary of State affirmed the need to counteract the concept of the human being as a machine for production, proposing
    instead a vision of the person, and reiterated the need for formation in dialogue and the construction of fraternity.
    "Culture and education have never been considered by the Catholic Church merely
    as tools for evangelisation, but rather as dimensions of humanity with high intrinsic value. Investment in the education of the younger generations is a condition for the 'progressive development of peoples ... an object of deep interest and concern to the Church. This is particularly true in the case of those peoples who are trying to escape the ravages of hunger, poverty, endemic disease and ignorance; of those who are seeking a larger share in the benefits of civilisation and a more active improvement of their human qualities', as Paul
    VI affirmed in his encyclical 'Populorum progressio'. The Church shares in the efforts for greater access to literacy, to education for all and for continuing
    formation. These pillars are made even more solid with regard to the fundamental
    commitment in favour of ethnic and religious minorities and for the female gender, so important for the harmonious growth of society".
    The Catholic Church, an "expert in humanity", has placed education at the centre of her mission and continues to consider it as a priority, especially in
    a context of "global emergency for education", caused both by processes of change and by a reductionist perspective that tends to limit the scope of universal education to a purely economic aspect. In fact, looking closely, the recent financial crisis has been of an entropic nature: it gave rise to a loss of meaning and consequent social apathy. By this refusal, there is a tendency to
    lose one's orientation towards the common good and to drift away from the propulsive value of relationality in the name of a minimalist anthropology of 'homo oeconomicus', which stifles interpersonal relationships".
    He continued, "We live in times in which many perceive the signs of an epochal
    transition. As the history of humanity shows us, these periods are marked by instability and disorientation. Faced with the intensification of sentiments of
    opposition and hatred, it would appear necessary to start to 'share beauty' and
    'praise creation', acknowledging the contribution that each person can offer and
    proposing humble and patient closeness between individuals, communities and peoples. At the foundation of this shared responsibility there is, as John Paul
    II said in his address to this same prestigious institution, "a fundamental dimension, capable of rocking the foundations of the systems that structure the
    whole of humanity and of freeing human existence, individual and collective, from the threats that weigh upon it. This fundamental dimension is man, man in his integrity, man who lives in both the sphere of material values and the sphere of spiritual values. Respect for the inalienable rights of the human person is the root of all this".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 3 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Rev. Fr. Christian Noel Emmanuel as bishop of Trincomalee (area 2,727, population 378,182, Catholics 19,606, priests 36, religious 52), Sri Lanka. The
    bishop-elect was born in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He has served as parish priest, diocesan head of catechism and liturgy, and professor at the diocesan seminary, and is currently vicar and bursar of the same diocese. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai, whose
    resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the holy father.
    - Rev. Fr. Erio Castellucci as metropolitan archbishop of Modena-Nonantola (area 2,089, population 510,579, Catholics 465,500, priests 227, permanent deacons 73, religious 360), Italy.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Notice
    Vatican City, 3 June 2015 (VIS) - The Vatican Information Service bulletin will
    not be transmitted tomorrow, Solemnity of Corpus Christi and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Friday 5 June.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Jun 9 07:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 107
    DATE 09-06-2015

    Summary:
    - Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher at the Council of Europe: the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue
    - Cardinal Rauber to take possession of his diaconate
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher at the Council of Europe: the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue
    Vatican City, 9 June 2015 (VIS) - Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary
    for Relations with States, spoke at the seminar "Building inclusive societies together: contributions to Sarajevo's exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue" on 8 June at the Council of Europe, in preparation for the 2015 Meeting on this issue to be held in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 8 to 9 September.
    The archbishop structured his discussion according to four main theses: in the
    context of growing multipolarity, religions are an essential subject/actor in the area of intercultural dialogue; religions are called to offer a specific contribution to the advancement of a culture of human rights; religious freedom
    is a key element in the development of a democratic society; and the promotion and protection of the right to religious freedom is a basic task of states and international organisations.
    "Open and respectful encounters between religious traditions and between these
    and the social and political world are fundamental for social cohesion", he said. "The religious dimension continues to be a living reference point for millions of people in Europe, affecting their choices and, to a greater or lesser degree, their identity. It is a dimension which is in continuous transformation, due to new religious forms of life and profound changes experienced within religious communities that have long been present in Europe.
    ... For intercultural dialogue to bear fruit, it must face not only the religious dimension in general, but also interact with particular religious confessions with all their historic characteristics".
    "Without the particular contribution given by religious perspectives on the human person, ... the entire culture of human rights, even those of non-believers,
    would be greatly impoverished. I cannot claim to speak in the name of other religious cultures; but I believe that the specific contribution of the Catholic
    Church to a common culture of human rights may be seen in concrete ways and I will limit myself to offering a few examples, which are by no means exhaustive.
    First of all, there is the awareness of a radical equality and fraternity between every human person created in the image and likeness of God. Secondly, the recognition of the worth of the least among us, of the poor and the marginalised, of the dignity of every human life no matter how weak or precarious, from conception through natural death. Thirdly, the capacity to transmit a religious identity which is both firm and respectful of others, open
    to dialogue with other religions and world views. As can easily be seen, these are universal values, and while they are not exclusive to the Catholic Faith, the latter has offered and continues to offer a unique contribution. Every religious tradition can and must make its own particular contribution, even when
    it becomes important to find a way to relate honestly to one another, embracing
    the good that exists in all traditions and also inviting sincere discussion on the perceived limitations of every tradition of thought, be it religious or not".
    "In today's context of multicultural societies, respect for religious freedom is one of the fundamental factors by which the health of a given democracy can be evaluated as being truly a home for everyone. Promoting religious freedom appears particularly important in averting and countering the phenomena of extremist violence and radicalisation, against which governments and international organisations are currently engaged, among them the Council of Europe".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Rauber to take possession of his diaconate
    Vatican City, 9 June 2015 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the
    Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Saturday 13 June at 11 a.m., Cardinal Karl-Josef Rauber will take possession of the diaconate of Sant'Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia, (Circonvallazione Appia, 150).

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 9 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Aliaksandr Yasheuski, S.D.B., as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev (area 69,800, population 4,253,000, Catholics 610,000, priests 124, religious 147), Belarus. The bishop-elect was born in 1974 in Smarhon, Belarus, gave his perpetual vows in 1998, and was ordained a priest in 2000. He holds a licentiate
    in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Grodno, Belarus, including parish administrator, and within his community as director of the Salesian novitiate in Oktiabrsk in the province of Moscow, Russian Federation. In Minsk he has served as parish vicar, director of the office for education and
    religious teaching, director of the Salesian community, and teacher of dogmatic
    theology at the centre for the preparation of catechists. He is currently parish
    vicar in Smarhon, director of the local Salesian community, and vicar and bursar
    of the Belarusian delegation of the Salesian society.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Jun 16 08:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 112
    DATE 16-06-2015

    Summary:
    - Members and substitutes for the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of
    Bishops
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Members and substitutes for the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of
    Bishops
    Vatican City, 16 June 2015 (VIS) - The following is a list of members and substitutes from the competent bodies for the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of
    the Synod of Bishops, confirmed by the Holy Father Francis on 22 May 2015. The previous list was published on 25 March.
    A) Episcopal Conferences
    AFRICA
    ANGOLA and SAO TOME
    Member: Bishop Emilio Sumbelelo of Uije, Angola
    Substitute: Archbishop Jose de Queiros Alves, C.SS.R., of Huambo, Angola
    BENIN
    Member: Bishop Eugene Cyrille Houndekon of Abomey, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Antoine Sabi Bio of Natitingou
    CAMEROON
    Members: Archbishop Joseph Atanga, S.J., of Bertoua
    Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitutes: Bishop Barthelemy Yaouda Hourgo of Yagoua
    Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Mamfe
    REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
    Member: Bishop Urbain Ngassongo of Gamboma, president of the Episcopal Commission for Family Pastoral Ministry
    Substitute: Bishop Louis Portella Mbuyu of Kinkala
    GABON
    Member: Bishop Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan of Mouila, president of the Episcopal
    Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Jean-Vincent Ondo Eyene of Oyem
    GAMBIA and SIERRA LEONE
    Member: Bishop Charles Allieu Matthew Campbell of Bo, Sierra Leone
    Substitute: Bishop Henry Aruna of Makeni, Sierra Leone
    MALAWI
    Member: Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, S.M.M., of Blantyre, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama of Dedza
    INDIAN OCEAN (C.E.D.O.I.)
    Member: Bishop Maurice Piat, C.S.Sp., of Port-Louis, Mauritius, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Gilbert Aubry of Saint-Denis-de-La Reunion, Reunion, France
    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
    Member: Bishop Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa of Alindao
    Substitute: Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, C.S.Sp., of Bangui, president of
    the Episcopal Conference
    SENEGAL, MAURITANIA, CABO VERDE and GUINEA-BISSAU
    Member: Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Dakar, president of the Episcopal Conference, Senegal
    Substitute: Bishop Paul Abel Mamba of Ziguinchor, Senegal, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
    TANZANIA
    Members: Bishop Tarcisius J. M. Ngalalekumtwa of Iringa, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Bishop Renatus Leonard Nkwande of Bunda
    Substitutes: Bishop Joseph Roman Mlola of Kigoma
    Bishop John Chrisostom Ndimbo of Mbinga
    ZAMBIA
    Member: Bishop Benjamin Phiri, auxiliary of Chipata
    Substitute: Bishop Patrick Chisanga, O.F.M. Conv., of Mansa
    AMERICA
    BRAZIL
    Members: Archbishop Sergio Da Rocha of Brasilia, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Bishop Joao Carlos Petrini of Camacari
    Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha of Mariana
    Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo
    Substitutes: Bishop Joao Bosco Barbosa De Sousa, O.F.M., of Osasco
    Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, O.F.M., auxiliary of Brasilia
    CANADA
    Members: Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, president of the Episcopal
    Conference
    Bishop Noel Simard of Valleyfield
    Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto
    Archbishop Richard William Smith of Edmonton
    Substitutes: Bishop Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., of Saint-Jean - Longueuil
    Archbishop J. Michael MILLER, C.S.B., of Vancouver
    COLOMBIA
    Members: Bishop Pablo Emiro Salas Anteliz of Armenia
    Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota
    Archbishop Oscar Urbina Ortega of Villavicencio
    Substitute: Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Medell0n
    COSTA RICA
    Member: Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloa Rojas of Cartago, president of the Episcopal Commission for Family Pastoral Ministry
    Substitute: Bishop Oscar Gerardo Fernandez Guillen of Puntarenas, president of
    the Episcopal Conference
    EL SALVADOR
    Member: Bishop Constantino Barrera Morales of Sonsonate
    Substitute: Bishop Fabio Reynaldo Colindres Abarca, military ordinary of El Salvador
    PUERTO RICO
    Member: Archbishop Roberto Octavio Gonzalez Nieves, O.F.M., of San Juan de Puerto Rico, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Alvaro Corrada Del Rio, S.J. of Mayaguez
    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
    Member: Bishop Gregorio Nicanor Pena Rodriguez of Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia en Higuey, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Fausto Ramon Mejia Vallejo of San Francisco de Macor0s
    ASIA
    BANGLADESH
    Member: Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi, C.S.C, of Mymensingh, president of the Episcopal Family Life Commission
    Substitute: Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur
    KOREA
    Member: Peter Kang U-Il of Cheju
    Substitute: Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-Joong of Gwangju, president of the Episcopal Conference
    JAPAN
    Member: Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, P.S.S. of Nagasaki, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Dominic Ry?ji Miyahara of Fukuoka
    INDIA (C.C.B.I.)
    Members: Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Archbishop Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastiao Do Rosario Ferrao of Goa and Damao
    Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan of Punalur
    Archbishop Dominic Jala, S.D.B. of Shillong Substitute: Bishop Singaroyan Sebastianappan of Salem
    SRI LANKA
    Member: Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Kurunegala
    Substitute: Bishop Norbert Marshall ANDRADI, O.M.I. of Anuradhapura
    EUROPE
    BELGIUM
    Member: Bishop Johan Jozef Bonny of Antwerpen, Anvers
    Substitute: Bishop Lucas Van Looy, S.D.B., of Gent, Gand
    BULGARIA
    Member: Bishop GheorghiIvanov Jovcev of Sofia and Plovdiv
    Substitute: Bishop Christo Proykov, apostolic exarch of Sofia for Catholics of
    Byzantine-Slav rite resident in Bulgaria, president of the Episcopal Conference
    ITALY
    Members: Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan
    Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara
    Bishop Enrico Solmi of Parma, president of the Commission for Life and the Family of the Italian Episcopal Conference
    Substitutes: Bishop Gennaro Pascarella of Pozzuoli
    Bishop Luciano Monari of Brescia
    MALTA
    Member: Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna of Malta
    POLAND
    Members: Archbishop Stanis?aw Gadecki, of Poznan, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Archbishop-Bishop Henryk Hoser, S.A.C. of Warszawa-Praga
    Bishop Jan Franciszek Watroba of Rzeszow
    Substitutes: Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl of the Latins
    Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski of Lodz
    ROMANIA
    Member: Bishop Petru Gherghel of Iasi
    Substitute: Bishop Cornel Damian, auxiliary of Bucharest
    SLOVAKIA
    Member: Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, president of the Episcopal Conference
    Substitute: Bishop Jozef Hal'Ko, auxiliary of Bratislava
    SLOVENIA
    Member: Archbishop Stane Zore, O.F.M., of Ljubljana
    Substitute: Bishop Andrej Glavan of Novo Mesto, president of the Episcopal Conference
    TURKEY
    Member: Archbishop Levon Boghos Zekiyan of Istanbul of the Armenians
    Substitute: Bishop Louis Pelatre, A.A., apostolic vicar of Istanbul, apostolic
    administrator of the apostolic exarchate of Istanbul for faithful of Byzantine rite resident in Turkey
    UKRAINE
    Member: Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv of the Latins, president of the
    Episcopal Conference
    Substitute:Bishop Radoslaw Zmitrowicz, O.M.I., auxiliary of Kamyanets-Podilskyi
    of the Latins
    HUNGARY
    Member: Bishop Andras Veres of Szombathely
    Substitute: Bishop Laszlo Biro, military ordinary of Hungary
    OCEANIA
    PACIFIC (C.E.P.A.C.)
    Member: Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva, Fiji Islands
    Substitute: Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, bishop of Tonga, Tonga, president
    of the Episcopal Conference
    B) SUI IURIS ORIENTAL CATHOLIC CHURCHES
    SYNOD OF THE MARONITE CHURCH
    Members: Bishop Antoine Nabil Andari, auxiliary and syncellus of Joubbe, Sarba
    and Jounieh of the Maronites, president of the Episcopal Commission for the Family and Life, Lebanon
    Bishop Antoine Tarabay, O.L.M. of Saint Maron of Sydney of the Maronites, Australia
    Substitutes: Bishop Michel Aoun of Jbeil, Byblos of the Maronites, Lebanon
    Bishop Gregory John Mansour of Saint Maron of Brooklyn of the Maronites, U.S.A.
    C) UNION OF SUPERIORS GENERAL
    Members: Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, S.J., prepositor general of the Society of
    Jesus (Jesuits)
    Fr. Marco Tasca, O.F.M. Conv., minister general of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Conventual
    Fr. Mario Aldegani, C.S.I., superior general of the Congregation of St. Joseph
    (Josephites of Murialdo)
    Fr. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M.Afr., superior general of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers)
    Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., master general of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
    Fr. Jesus Diaz Alonso, S.F., superior general of the Sons of the Holy Family of
    Jesus, Mary and Joseph
    Fr. Michael Brehl, C.SS.R., superior general of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists or Liguorini)
    Fr. Javier Alvarez-Ossorio, SS.CC., superior general of the Congregation of the
    Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus)
    Fr. Ab. D. Jeremias Schroder, O.S.B., arch-abbot president of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Odile
    B. Herve JANSON, P.F.J., prior general of the Little Brothers of Jesus (Foucauld)
    Substitutes: Fr. Edmund Jan Michalski, M.S.F., superior general of the Missionaries of the Holy Family
    Fr. Gregory Gay, C.M., superior general of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazzarists)

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 16 June 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience
    Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, with Fra' Matthew Festing, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 16 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as his special envoy to the celebration of the millennium of the foundation of the Cathedral of Strasbourg, France, to be held on 15 August.
    - Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, archbishop emeritus of Quito, as his special envoy to the tenth National Eucharistic Congress of Peru, to be celebrated in Piura, Peru, from 13 to 16 August.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Jun 23 08:12:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 117
    DATE 23-06-2015

    Summary:
    - Presentation of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod: "The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and contemporary world"
    - Annual meeting of the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod: "The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and contemporary world"
    Vatican City, 23 June 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office press conference was held to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme, "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and contemporary world" (4-25 October 2015). The speakers were: Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the
    Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, general rapporteur of the 14th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops; and Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, special secretary of
    the 14th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
    The Instrumentum Laboris, explained Cardinal Baldisseri, is divided into three
    parts following the structure of the Relatio Synodi, demonstrating the close link between the Third Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October
    2014, dedicated to "The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation", and the upcoming Ordinary General Assembly. The first part, entitled "Listening to the challenges of the family", relates most directly to last year's Synod, while the second, "Discernment of the family vocation", and third, "The mission of the family today", introduce the theme of the next one.
    The cardinal highlighted certain novelties in the first part, which refer principally to the anthropological-cultural, socio-economic and ecological contexts, "now happily enlightened by the new Encyclical letter Laudato si'". The challenges, he explained, are "poverty and social exclusion, old age, widowhood, bereavement in the family, disability, migration, the role of women,
    emotional life and education in sexuality, and bioethics".
    In the second part, "Discernment of the family vocation", the Relatio Synodi is
    enriched with an extension of the themes regarding natural marriage and sacramental fullness, indissolubility as a gift and a duty, family life, union and fruitfulness, the missionary dimension, faith, prayer, catechesis, the intimate bond between Church and family, the young and fear of marriage, and mercy.
    The third part, devoted to "The mission of the family today", begins with a broad-ranging reflection on the family and evangelisation, and explores in depth
    a number of other issues such as the family as subject of pastoral ministry, nuptial liturgy, renewed language and missionary openness.
    The general secretary of the Synod of Bishops noted that it makes reference to
    "the family and ecclesial accompaniment, the streamlining of procedures for causes for annulment, the integration of faithful in irregular situations, the eventual introduction of a penitential route, the pastoral problems regarding mixed marriages and disparities of worship, as well as questions related to responsible procreation, reduction of births, adoption and fostering, respect for life from conception to natural end, and education of future generations.
    "The reference to the economic hardship experienced by many families, who run the risk of being subject to usury, is very relevant", he added, "as is the socio-political commitment of Christians in favour of the family, also in the international context. In this regard, it would be useful to re-propose the Charter for the Rights of the Family, linked to the Universal Declaration of the
    Rights of Man".
    Cardinal Baldisseri illustrated the work of the Secretariat of the Synod Council between one assembly and another, which began in November 2014 with the
    presentation of the "Lineamenta", composed of the Relatio Synodi and a series of
    46 questions relating to the reception and deepening of this Synod document. The
    "Lineamenta" was sent to the synods of the sui iuris Oriental Catholic Churches,
    to the Episcopal Conferences, to the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and others,
    with an invitation to respond by 15 April 2015. The Secretariat General received
    99 answers from the competent bodies, along with 359 observations sent freely from dioceses, parishes, ecclesial associations, grass-roots groups of faithful,
    civil movements and organisations, etc. The inter-synodal period has thus been shown to be "a valuable opportunity for listening to what the Spirit says to the
    Church in the plurality of her components".
    Finally, with regard to the methodology of the upcoming General Assembly, it was mentioned that it is Ordinary and not Extraordinary like the previous one and, in accordance with the suggestions of the members of the Synod, "it will continue with the project of the development of the Synod taking a dynamic approach more suited to our times".
    The Synod fathers reiterated the need to avoid a "long series of individual interventions, as has happened in previous Synod assemblies, to ensure that they
    are better distributed in the time available and not presented one after another. The importance of the Circuli Minores was noted, as was the need to maintain the principle of thematic order. Thus, the three weeks of the Synod will be divided in correspondence with the three parts of the Instrumentum Laboris. The first week will be devoted to the first part of the document, the second to the discernment of the family vocation, and the third to the mission of the family today. "At the end of the third week, time will be set aside for the preparation of the final text of the document, which will be presented to the Assembly for the final modifications, to be inserted into the text before its final approval. The method will ensure the opportunity to intervene on the part of all those entitled to do so, including at the end of the day, and will enable more time to be assigned to the Circuli Minores. It is expected that a final document will be produced and consigned to the Holy Father".
    With regard to information during the Synod Assembly, the cardinal mentioned the Holy Father's affirmation that "the Synod is a space in which the Holy Spirit can act, not parliament. The Synod Fathers are invited to express themselves with parrhesia. They will be free to communicate with the media at their discretion and with responsibility".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Annual meeting of the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation
    Vatican City, 23 June 2015 (VIS) The management board of the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation for Latin America will hold its annual council meeting from 22 to 25 June in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to discuss the funding of projects in
    favour of indigenous mestizo, Afro-American and rural communities in Latin America and the Caribbean during the year 2015. Over one hundred projects were presented this year.
    Since its institution by St. John Paul II in 1992, the Foundation was entrusted
    to the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and the members of its management board are
    the archbishops Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero of La Paz, Bolivia, president; Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador, deputy president; Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, cardinal archbishop of Santo Domingo; Oscar Urbina Ortega of Villavicencio, Colombia; Murilo Sebastiao Ramos Krieger of Sao
    Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; Javier Augusto Del Rio Alba of Arequipa, Peru; and Msgr. Segundo Tajado Munoz, under secretary of "Cor Unum".
    The meeting provided an opportunity to study the most effective methods of implementing the Foundation's mandate, especially in favour of Indios, peasant farmers and Afro-American communities. Indeed, the Encyclical "Laudato si'", while aimed at encouraging a more responsible attitude to the defence of creation, also proposes a model for the full development of the person, within the framework of human ecology, or rather in rapport with the surrounding environment. The Foundation works in this way and evaluates projects that are, in particular, able to link human development with the natural environment of the territories in which they are to be realised.
    So far more than four thousand projects have been implemented by the Foundation, with a total of more than 35 million dollars assigned to them. They
    typically promote the participation of local communities and involve different sectors: agriculture and livestock farming, craft and micro-businesses, infrastructure for drinking water, education and school equipment, health, and construction, among others.
    The Italian Episcopal Conference is among the major contributors to the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 23 June 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care;
    - Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy;
    - Professor Alberto Melloni and entourage;
    - Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli, emeritus of Viterbo, Italy;
    - Bishop Vitus Huonder of Chur, Switzerland.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 23 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has accepted the resignation
    from the pastoral care of the apostolic vicariate of Puerto Maldonado, Peru, presented by Bishop Francisco Gonzalez Hernandez, O.P., in accordance with canon
    401 para.2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Bishop David Martinez De
    Aguirre Guinea, O.P., coadjutor of the same apostolic vicariate.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Wed Jun 24 07:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 118
    DATE 24-06-2015

    Summary:
    - General audience: the wounds of the family
    - The Pope receives the participants in the meeting for dialogue between Buddhists and Catholics
    - Pope's Message for the 50th anniversary of the Joint Working Group between the
    Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    General audience: the wounds of the family
    Vatican City, 24 June 2015 (VIS) - Following his recent catechesis on external
    threats to the family, such as poverty and illness, during today's general audience the Pope spoke about those wounds that are produced as a result of family cohabitation.
    In all families there are moments of discord, but when harmful words, acts and
    indifference are ignored, they can be aggravated and transformed into arrogance,
    hostility and contempt, which can become deep lacerations, dividing husband and
    wife and inducing them to seek understanding, support and consolation elsewhere.
    "But often, these forms of support do not think of the good of the family. ... And
    frequently the effects of separation have an impact on the children".
    "But do we still know what a wound to the soul is? Do we feel the weight of the
    mountain that crushes the soul of a child, in families in which the members treat each other badly and harm each other, to the point of breaking the bonds of conjugal trust?" asked the Pope. ... When adults lose their head ... when the
    father and mother harm each other, the soul of the child suffers greatly, feeling a sense of desperation. And they are wounds that leave a lifelong mark".
    "In the family, everything is interconnected: when its soul is wounded at some
    point, the infection spreads throughout. ... Husband and wife are one flesh", emphasised the Pope, "But their creatures are flesh of their flesh. If we think
    of the severity with which Jesus warns adults not to offend the little ones, we
    can also better understand his word on the grave responsibility of safeguarding
    the conjugal bond that is at the origin of the human family. When a man and a woman become one flesh, all the wounds and neglect of the father and mother are
    brought to bear on the living flesh of the children".
    The Holy Father also spoke about those cases in which separation is inevitable
    or indeed morally necessary "to remove the weaker spouse, or young children, from the wounds caused by arrogance and violence, debasement and exploitation, estrangement and indifference".
    However, he said, there is no lack of those who, thanks to God, "supported by faith and love for their children, bear witness to their faithfulness in a bond
    in which they have believed, however impossible it may seem to revive it. Not all separated people have this vocation, though. Not all recognise, in their solitude, the Lord's call to them. We find many families in irregular situations
    around us. And this poses many questions: how can we help them? How can we accompany them? How can we accompany them so the children do not become hostages
    to their father or mother?".
    The Pope concluded his catechesis by asking the Lord for "great faith, to look
    upon reality through the eyes of God; and great charity, to be near to people with a merciful heart".

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope receives the participants in the meeting for dialogue between Buddhists and Catholics
    Vatican City, 24 June 2015 (VIS) - Before today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope received in the room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall the participants in the Meeting for Dialogue between Buddhists and Catholics of the
    United States on the theme "Suffering, liberation and fraternity", organised by
    the Focolare Movement and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and
    inaugurated yesterday at Castel Gandolfo by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the dicastery.
    The meeting, which ends on 27 June, has involved the participation of around fifty delegates from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, representing Catholics and Buddhist communities of different traditions. The Holy Father thanked them for their visit to the Vatican, "a visit that is close to my heart as it is a visit of fraternity, dialogue and friendship. These are things that do great good, that are healthy. In this historical moment, so scarred by wars and hatred, these small gestures are seeds
    of peace and fraternity. I thank you, and may the Lord bless you".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pope's Message for the 50th anniversary of the Joint Working Group between the
    Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches
    Vatican City, 24 June 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon Pope Francis sent a message to the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Reverend
    Olav Fykse Tveit, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Joint Working Group between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches. The
    text was read by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, during a commemorative congress held at the Centro Pro Unione in Rome.
    Francis writes that this occasion offers "a moment to thank the Lord for all that the ecumenical movement has achieved since its beginning over one hundred years ago, inspired by a longing for the unity which Christ intended for his body, the Church, and by an emerging sense of sorrow for the scandal of division
    between Christians".
    Since its inauguration in 1965, the Joint Working Group has been active "not only in ecumenical issues, but also in the areas of interreligious dialogue, peace and social justice, and works of charity and humanitarian aid". He added that the Joint Working Group "should not be an inward-looking forum", but instead should increasingly become "a 'think tank', open to all the opportunities and challenges facing the Churches today in their mission of accompanying suffering humanity on the path to the Kingdom, by imbuing society and culture with Gospel truths and values".
    In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, continued the Pope, "I noted that realities are more important than ideas. The Joint Working Group must be oriented to addressing the real concerns of the Churches throughout the world. In this way, it will be better suited to proposing collaborative steps that not
    only draw the Churches closer together, but also ensure that they offer an effective diakonia suited to the people's needs".
    In fulfilling this task, "the Joint Working Group distinguishes itself by its own character and aims. The nine reports produced thus far bear witness to the growing understanding and appreciation of the bonds of brotherhood and reconciliation which, in the context of the changing landscape of Christianity in the modern world, sustain Christians in their common witness and evangelising
    mission. We must recognise, though, that in spite of the many ecumenical achievements of the past half century, Christian mission and witness still suffer due to our divisions. Disagreements on various subjects - in particular anthropological, ethical and social issues, as well as issues related to the understanding of the nature and conditions of the unity we seek - demand further
    sustained efforts. Our dialogue must continue".
    The Pope concluded his message by encouraging the Group to further its discussion on crucial ecumenical issues and to promote ways for Christians to testify together to the real, though imperfect, communion shared by all the baptised. "May we always trust that the Holy Spirit will continue to assist and
    guide our journey, often in new and sometimes unexpected ways", exclaimed Francis.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 24 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed:
    - Bishop Rafael Biernaski, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Curitiba, Brazil, as
    bishop of Blumenau (area 3,835, population 671,282, Catholics 460,056, priests 67, permanent deacons 53, religious 79), Brazil.
    - Bishop Joao Santos Cardoso of Sao Raimundo Nonato, Brazil, as bishop of Bom Jesus da Lapa (area 56,300, population 403,000, Catholics 321,000, priests 33, religious 52), Brazil.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Jun 25 08:48:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - # 119
    DATE 25-06-2015

    Summary:
    - The Pope receives B'nai B'rith International and recalls the work of St. John
    XXIII and St. John Paul II to promote friendship between Jews and Christians
    - To future Papal representatives: be custodians of truth, not state functionaries
    - Telegram for the death of the Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians
    - Presentation of the Eighth World Meeting of Families
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    ___________________________________________________________

    The Pope receives B'nai B'rith International and recalls the work of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II to promote friendship between Jews and Christians
    Vatican City, 25 June 2015 (VIS) - A delegation from B'nai B'rith International
    ("Children of the Covenant"), a Jewish non-governmental organisation of a philanthropic nature founded in 1843, which opposes anti-Semitism in all its forms and promotes human rights, was received in audience by Pope Francis this morning. B'nai B'rith established contacts with the Holy See following the promulgation of the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate which, as the Holy Father mentioned, "constituted a milestone on the path of mutual knowledge and esteem between Jews and Catholics, based on the great spiritual patrimony that,
    thanks be to God, we share in common".
    During the last fifty years of regular dialogue between the Catholic Church and
    Judaism, great steps have been taken in fostering mutual trust and appreciation.
    "Respect for life and creation, human dignity, justice and solidarity unite us for the development of society and for securing a future rich in hope for generations to come. In a particular way, we are called to pray and work together for peace. Unfortunately, there are many countries and regions of the world that live in situations of conflict - I think in particular of the Holy Land and the Middle East - and that require a courageous commitment to peace, which is not only to be longed for, but sought after and built up patiently and
    tenaciously by everyone, especially believers".
    Francis recalled with profound gratitude all those who have worked to promote friendship between Jews and Catholics, and mentioned St. John XXIII and St. John
    Paul II in particular. "The first saved many Jews during the Second World War, he met with them numerous times, and greatly desired a conciliar document on this theme. Regarding St. John Paul II, his various historical gestures remain very much alive in our memories, such as his visit to Auschwitz and to the Great
    Synagogue of Rome. With the help of God, I wish to walk in their footsteps, encouraged too by the many beautiful encounters and friendships I enjoyed in Buenos Aires", the Pope concluded.

    ___________________________________________________________

    To future Papal representatives: be custodians of truth, not state functionaries
    Vatican City, 25 June 2015 (VIS) - "The mission you will one day be called to carry out will take you all over the world. In Europe, which needs to be reawakened; in Africa, which thirsts for reconciliation; in Latin America, which
    hungers for nourishment and inwardness; in North America, intent on rediscovering the roots of an identity that does not define itself in terms of exclusion; in Asia and Oceania, challenged by the capacity for transformation in
    diaspora and by dialogue with the immensity of ancestral cultures". With these words, Pope Francis received in audience the students who are about to complete
    their studies in the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Holy See institution
    charged with the formation of the diplomats who will work in the nunciatures and
    the Secretary of State.
    In his address, the Holy Father highlighted various aspects of the path ahead of them, starting with their mission. "You are preparing to represent the Holy See in the Community of Nations and in the local Churches you are destined for.
    The Holy See is the see of the bishop of Rome, of the Church that presides in charity, that is based not on vain pride but rather on the daily courage of the
    condescension or abasement of her Master. The true authority of the Church of Rome is Christ's charity. This is the sole force that renders her universal and
    credible for man and for the world: this is the heart of her truth, that does not erect walls of division and exclusion, but instead forms bridges to build up
    communion and to recall the unity of humanity; this is her secret strength, that
    feeds her tenacious hope, invincible despite momentary defeats. It is not possible to represent someone without reflecting their features, without evoking
    their face. Jesus said, 'Whoever has seen me has seen the Father'. You are not called to be the high functionaries of a State ... welcome in worldly salons, but rather the guardians of a truth that supports those who offer it, and not the opposite. It is important that you do not let yourselves be depleted by continual transfers; instead, it is necessary to cultivate deep roots, to protect the memory of why you embarked on this path, and not to be hollowed out
    by cynicism nor to lose sight of the face of He Who is at the origin of your journey".
    Likewise, he reiterated that the Academy specifically aims to prepare future diplomats to consider the realities they will encounter and to love them, even with their limitations. "You prepare, indeed, to become 'bridges', pacifying and
    facing with prayer and in spiritual battle the tendency to regard oneself as above others, the assumed superiority of view that impedes access to the substance of reality, the claim of already knowing enough. To do this it is necessary not to transpose into the field in which you work your own patterns of
    understanding, your own cultural parameters, your own ecclesial background".
    "The service to which you have been called requires you to protect the freedom
    of the Holy See, which so as not to betray her mission before God and for the true good of mankind cannot be imprisoned by the logic of cartels, taken hostage
    by the accounting division of factions, accept the division among consuls, submit to political powers and to be colonised by the current dominant streams of thought or the illusory hegemony of the mainstream. You are called to seek, in the Churches and in the populations among whom you live, and whom you serve,
    the good that must be encouraged. To best fulfil this mission it is necessary to
    set aside the attitude of the judge and to don the robes of the pedagogue, of one who is able to release the potential for good that God does not fail to sow
    in the Churches".
    "I exhort you not to expect to find the terrain ready, but rather to have the courage to plough it with your hands, without tractors or other more effective means which we will never have at our disposal - to prepare it for sowing, awaiting the harvest with God's patience; a harvest of which you may not be the
    beneficiary. Do not fish in aquaria or farms, but instead have the courage to leave behind the safe margins of what is already known and to cast your nets and
    rods in less obvious seas".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Telegram for the death of the Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians
    Vatican City, 25 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to the Patriarchal Synod of the Patriarchate of Cilicia of the Armenians, Beirut, for the sudden death of the Patriarch, His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, at the age of 75.
    The Pope expresses his heartfelt condolences to the faithful of the Patriarchate and recalls his close collaboration with the Patriarch, one of the
    most prominent consequences of which is the recent declaration of St. Gregory of
    Narek as a Doctor of the Church.
    "I entrust to the merciful Father the soul of this devoted pastor who, as a priest dedicated himself tirelessly to the service of the communities for whom he was responsible, and later, as bishop, carried out his ministry with faith and zeal, first in Alexandria and then as Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians.
    I join in prayer with all those who are affected by his sudden passing and convey my apostolic blessing, in particular to the bishops of the Patriarchate of Cilicia of the Armenians, the family of the deceased and all those who are to
    attend his funeral".

    ___________________________________________________________

    Presentation of the Eighth World Meeting of Families
    Vatican City, 25 June 2015 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office press conference was held to present the Eighth World Meeting of Families, to be
    held in Philadelphia, U.S.A., from 22 to 27 September this year, on the theme "Love is our mission. The family fully alive". The speakers were Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Archbishop
    Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia with his auxiliary, Bishop John J. McIntyre, and Jerry and Lucille Francesco, a couple from the same archdiocese, now married for fifty years.
    Archbishop Paglia emphasised that the Meeting is a valuable opportunity to place the family at the centre of the Church and of civil society. "It is a duty", he said, explaining that the meeting is about and for families, who are its protagonists and main recipients. "The family builds the Church and sustains
    society. ... During the days of the conference, we will present the results of some international research that has scientifically studied this positive influence. The family constantly asks for help and support in the entire ecclesial community - and in the next few days I will write to all the monasteries of the world to ask them to accompany these very important days with
    their prayers - and from civil society as a whole, which cannot remain indifferent to such beauty and goodness that is so effective and so viable".
    The prelate went on to highlight the global nature of the event, and the hope that it will be seen and reported on worldwide. "The family is the heritage of all humanity, at every latitude, in every culture; it is blessed by all religions. That is why we wanted a significant presence of other Christian denominations and of major world religious traditions. ... We are working so that
    delegations from around the globe and especially from the world's poorest local
    Churches will be present. Philadelphia will be a great worldwide celebration of
    families: in the spectacle, we will be able to get a glimpse, we will have to show the beauty and the possibility of all humanity becoming a single family of
    peoples. It is the dream of peace; it is God's dream".
    This universality will be enshrined in the final gesture of the meeting: the archbishop revealed that at the end of Mass on Sunday, 27 September, Pope Francis will give the Gospel of Luke, "the Good News of God's mercy, which is Jesus, to families from big cities on the five continents: Kinshasa, Africa; Havana, America; Hanoi, Asia; Sydney, Australia; and Marseilles, Europe. This is
    a symbolic gesture that will announce the sending of a million copies of this book to the five cities involved. We want the Gospel of Mercy to be announced in
    the great cities of the world so that they may build bonds of love between them,
    in the Church and in society".
    The archbishop of Philadelphia gave some data on the Meeting, which more than million people are expected to attend, and from which representatives of more than a hundred nations have registered. So far 6,100 volunteers have offered assistance of various types and the event organisers intend to make more than 5,000 buses available. More than 1,600 people have signed up to the "Host a Family" programme.
    For more information on the events linked to the meeting, see http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/ ___________________________________________________________

    Audiences
    Vatican City, 25 June 2015 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
    - Fra' Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order
    of Malta, and entourage;
    - Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;
    - Archbishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho, Peru, president of the Episcopal Conference of Peru, with:
    - Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, vice president;
    - Archbishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, vice president; and
    - Msgr. Fortunato Pablo Urcey, prelate of Chota, general secretary.

    ___________________________________________________________

    Other Pontifical Acts
    Vatican City, 25 June 2015 (VIS) - The Holy Father has:
    - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Autlan, Mexico, presented by Bishop Gonzalo Galvan Castillo, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
    - appointed Bishop Uriah Ashley of Penonome, Panama, as auxiliary of Panama (area 13,275, population 1,769,000, Catholics 1,675,000, priests 149, permanent
    deacons 56, religious 377), Panama.

    ___________________________________________________________

    For more information and to search for documents refer to the site: www.visnews.org and www.vatican.va

    Copyright (VIS): the news contained in the services of the Vatican
    Information Service may be reproduced wholly or partially by quoting
    the source: V. I. S. - Vatican Information Service. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/vis/vis_en.html

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  • From Vatican Information Service@1:2320/100 to All on Thu Jul 2 07:24:02 2015
    VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
    YEAR XXII - #
    DATE 02-07-2015

    Summary:
    - One billion tourists, one billion opportunities

    ___________________________________________________________

    One billion tourists, one billion opportunities
    Vatican City, 2 July 2015 (VIS) - "One billion tourists, one billion opportunities" is the title of the Message for World Tourism Day 2015 (27 September), published today by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. The Message, dated 24 June, was signed by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the dicastery.
    The document, as its title indicates, focuses on the opportunities and challenges that the great increase in tourism represents for contemporary society and notes that the concept of the "tourist" is increasingly being substituted by that of the "traveller", who does not merely visit a place but rather, in a sense, becomes an integral part of it. In the light of Pope Francis' Encyclical "Laudato si'", the Message highlights that the tourism sector, by promoting appreciation of natural and cultural wealth, can promote their conservation or, paradoxically, their destruction. The Message finally invites the transformation of travel into "an existential experience".
    "It was 2012 when the symbolic barrier of one billion international tourist arrivals was surpassed. Now the numbers continue to grow so much that the forecasts estimate a new threshold of two billion will be reached in 2030. To this data even higher figures related to local tourism must be added.
    For World Tourism Day we want to concentrate on the opportunities and challenges raised by these statistics, and for this we make the theme proposed by the World Tourism Organisation our own: 'One billion tourists, one billion opportunities'.
    This growth launches a challenge to all the sectors involved in this global phenomenon: tourists, businesses, governments and local communities and, of course, the Church too. The billion tourists should necessarily be considered above all in their billion opportunities.
    This message is being made public a few days after the presentation of Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato si' dedicated to care for our common home. We need to take this text into great consideration because it offers important guidelines to follow in our attention to the world of tourism.
    We are in a phase of change in which the way of moving is changing and consequently the experience of travelling as well. Those who go to countries different from their own do so with the more or less conscious desire to reawaken the most hidden part of themselves through encounter, sharing and confrontation. More and more, a tourist is in search of direct contact with what
    is different in its extra-ordinariness.
    By now the classic concept of a 'tourist' is fading while that of a 'traveller'
    has become stronger: that is, someone who does not limit himself to visiting a place but in some way becomes an integral part of it. The 'citizen of the world'
    is born: no longer to see but to belong, not to look around but to experience, no longer to analyse but to take part in, and not without respect for what and whom he encounters.
    In his latest Encyclical, Pope Francis invites us to approach nature with 'openness to awe and wonder' and to speak 'the language of fraternity and beauty
    in our relationship with the world'. This is the right approach to adopt with regard to the places and peoples we visit. This is the road to seizing a billion
    opportunities and making them bear even more fruits.
    The businesses in this sector are the first ones who should be committed to achieving the common good. The responsibilities of companies is great, also in the tourist area, and to take advantage of the billion opportunities they need to be aware of this. The final objective should not be profit as much as offering travellers accessible roads to achieving the experience they are looking for. And businesses have to do this with respect for people and the environment. It is important not to lose awareness of people's faces. Tourists cannot be reduced only to a statistic or a source of revenue. Forms of tourist business need to be implemented that are studied with and for individuals and invest in individuals and sustainability so as to offer work opportunities in respect for our common home.
    At the same time, governments have to guarantee respect for the laws and create
    new ones that can protect the dignity of individuals, communities and the territory. A resolute attitude is essential. Also in the tourist area, the civil
    authorities of the different countries need to have shared strategies to create
    globalised socio-economic networks in favour of local communities and travellers
    in order to take positive advantage of the billion opportunities offered by the
    interaction.
    From this viewpoint, also the local communities are called to open up their borders to welcome those who come from other countries moved by a thirst for knowledge, a unique occasion for reciprocal enrichment and common growth. Giving
    hospitality enables the environmental, social and cultural potentialities to bear fruit, to create new jobs, to develop one's identity, and to bring out the
    value of the territory. A billion opportunities for progress, especially for countries that are still developing. To increase tourism, especially in its most
    responsible forms, makes it possible to head towards the future strong with one's specificity, history and culture. Generating income and promoting the specific heritage can reawaken that sense of pride and self-esteem useful for strengthening the host communities' dignity, but care is always needed to not betray the territory, traditions and identity in favour of the tourists. It is in the local communities where there can grow 'a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land. They are also concerned about
    what they will eventually leave to their children and grandchildren'.
    One billion tourists, if well received, can become an important source of well-being and sustainable development for the entire planet. Moreover, the globalisation of tourism leads to the rise of an individual and collective civic
    sense. Each traveller, by adopting a more correct criterion for moving around the world, becomes an active part in safeguarding the earth. One individual's effort multiplied by a billion becomes a great revolution.
    On a voyage, a desire for authenticity is also hidden which is realised in the
    spontaneity of relations and getting involved in the communities visited. The need is growing to get away from the virtual, which is so capable of creating distances and impersonal acquaintances, and to rediscover the genuineness of an
    encounter with others. The economy of sharing can also build a network through which humanity and fraternity increase and can generate a fair exchange of goods
    and services.
    Tourism also represents a billion opportunities for the Church's evangelising mission. 'Nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts'. First
    of all, it is important for the Church to accompany Catholics with liturgical and formative proposals. She should also illuminate those who during the experience of travelling open their hearts and ask themselves questions and in this way make a real first proclamation of the Gospel. It is essential for the Church to go forth and be close to travellers in order to offer an appropriate and individual answer to their inner search. By opening her heart to others, the
    Church makes a more authentic encounter with God possible. With this goal, hospitality by the parish communities and the religious formation of tourist personnel should be enhanced.
    The Church's task is also to educate to living free time. The Holy Father reminds us that 'Christian spirituality incorporates the value of relaxation and
    festivity. We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important
    about work: its meaning. We are called to include in our work a dimension of receptivity and gratuity, which is quite different from mere inactivity'.
    Moreover, we should not forget Pope Francis' convocation to celebrate the Holy
    Year of Mercy. We have to ask ourselves how the pastoral care of tourism and pilgrimages can be an area to 'experience the love of God who consoles, pardons,
    and instils hope'. A particular sign of this jubilee time will undoubtedly be the pilgrimage.
    Faithful to her mission and starting from the conviction that 'we also evangelize when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise',
    the Church cooperates in making tourism a means for the development of peoples,
    especially the most disadvantaged ones, and setting in motion simple but effective projects. However, the Church and institutions should always be vigilant to prevent a billion opportunities from becoming a billion dangers by cooperating in the safeguard of personal dignity, workers' rights, cultural identity, respect for the environment, and so on.
    One billion opportunities also for the environment: 'The entire material universe speaks of God's love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God'. Between tourism and the
    environment there is a close interdependency. The tourist sector, by taking advantage of the natural and cultural riches, can promote their conservation or,
    paradoxically, their destruction. In this relationship, the Encyclical Laudato si' appears to be a good travelling companion.
    Many times we pretend we do not see the problem. 'Such evasiveness serves as license to carrying on with our present lifestyles and models of production and
    consumption'. By acting not as masters but with 'responsible stewardship', each
    one has his or her obligations that must be made concrete in precise actions that range from specific, coordinated legislation down to simple everyday actions, passing through appropriate educational programs and sustainable and respectful tourist projects. Everything has its importance, but a change in lifestyles and attitudes is necessary and surely more important. 'Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy
    with little'.
    The tourism sector can be an opportunity, indeed, one billion opportunities for
    building roads to peace too. Encounter, exchange and sharing favour harmony and
    understanding.
    There are one billion occasions to transform a voyage into an existential experience. One billion possibilities to become the makers of a better world, aware of the riches contained in every traveller's suitcase. One billion tourists, one billion opportunities to become 'instruments of God our Father, so
    that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with
    his plan for peace, beauty and fullness'".

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